An eighth-inning comeback saw No. 20 TCU take the deciding game of their first conference series with a 12-8 win over No. 9 Texas.
With their backs against the wall, the Horned Frogs never let up despite trailing by five and coming off of a 13-1 loss Saturday.
“After last night and then being down 7-2, human instinct is to just give in and worry about Tuesday,” said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. “The guys did a hell of a job. This means we are 2-1 in the league, we just won a series, but there is a lot of
Texas came out strong to start the game, taking an early 3-0 lead. The first two Longhorn batters managed to get on base with a single up the middle and a bunt. With runners on first and second, Austin Todd hit a single to Brandon Williamson whose pitching error saw the Longhorns get on the board, sending two home. A single to left field gave the Longhorns their third run of the inning.
The Horned Frogs answered in the bottom of the first with a solo home run by Josh Watson, his second of the year.
The Longhorns extended their lead to 5-1 in the top of the fourth. Williamson was replaced by Charles King after allowing the Longhorns to score their fourth run of the game. King allowed one more run in relief and the inning ended with Texas leading by four.
Another solo home run, this time by Austin Henry, cut the Texas lead to three runs after four innings.
Texas added another two runs in the sixth inning, extending their lead to 7-2.
“I firmly believed we could get back in the game as long as we didn’t give them too much of a lead,” Schlossnagle said.
In the 6th, a three-run home run by Adam Oviedo kick-started the team’s comeback.
“I’m not necessarily saying I was trying to hit it out, but if the ball got up in the air, it was going to carry a little bit,” said Oviedo. “The wind really did come in our favor today. I heard [Schlossnagle] in the dugout, he was saying we’re gonna run into it at some point in the game, just hit it up in the air and it might go out. That wasn’t our general approach, but we just kept swinging the bat hard and things fell our way.”
The Lupton Stadium energy noticeably began to pick up after the Oviedo blast.
“I think that was a real big energy booster for the team overall,” Oviedo said. “I think it really sparked the flame to remind us that we’re still in the ballgame.”
The Frogs started the seventh with a pitching change, bringing Augie Mihlbauer in to replace King. He walked his first batter but had a ground out on a bunt. He allowed another single base hit, loading the bases and was replaced by Dalton Brown. Despite hitting a ground out to third, the Longhorns sent a runner home to make the score 8-5.
The Frogs began their eighth inning comeback with a single by Oviedo. Following him was Conner Shepherd with a single to right field, advancing Oviedo to second. Andrew Keefer singled up the middle, Shepherd moved to third, and Oviedo ran home to tie the game.
“Our lineup has good balance to it,” said Schlossnagle. “I love the competitiveness. What Adam and Shepherd have brought to the lineup after not being offensive players last year has made it what it is because it has depth.”
Hunter Wolfe was next up to bat and reached the base on a fielding error by the shortstop. Keefer proceeded to third, and Shepherd scored, giving the Frogs their first lead of the ballgame. Wolfe stole second, causing a pitching change for the Longhorns. Watson was then intentionally walked to load the bases.
After it was all said and done, the Horned Frogs entered the ninth leading 12-8. A strong showing by closer Marcelo Perez made it a quick one, two, three
The Frogs’ next game is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when they host UT-Rio Grande Valley.