With the bases loaded and TCU down 2-0 against Oklahoma State, Brett Johnson came into the game for one at-bat.
If he hit into a double play, it would be the final at-bat of the game. If he made it on base somehow, the Horned Frogs would score at least one run and could still make something happen.
Johnson did not allow another Frog to hit, as the junior let the Frogs walk off with a three-RBI hit.
After working his at-bat to a full count, he hit a double over the center fielder to take him to the warning track. The double did not just tie the game, it cleared the bases for a walk-off 3-2 win over the Cowboys.
The win gave TCU its second Big 12 Conference series win and the first Big 12 win at home. The first was in Lubbock against Texas Tech in March.
“If this isn’t the kind of thing that flips your season around, I don’t know what is,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said Sunday after the win.
A lead-off single from Jantzen Witte started the ninth inning come-from-behind offense, bringing Kevin Cron, the tying run, to the plate. The sophomore designated hitter hit a single just over the leaping shortstop’s glove, and a fielding error from the center fielder allowed Cron to get to second and Witte, the senior third baseman, to move to third.
Once freshman Travis Hennessey came in to pinch run for Cron, sophomore first baseman Derek Odell came up and hit into the first out of the inning. Dylan Fitzgerald pinch hit and was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then came Johnson, who was pinch hitting for sophomore shortstop Keaton Jones.
As soon as Fitzgerald slid safely hands-first into home, the TCU dugout cleared to meet Johnson on second base and celebrate the win.
“For once, something good happened on our end, [and] we got a few breaks,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after the win.
Cron reached base safely for the ninth game in a row, and Jantzen Witte had his ninth multi-hit game of the season. Witte leads the team in multi-hit games.
“This [win] was awesome, and hopefully it’ll kick-start us for the rest of the year,” Witte said. “We’ve had some tough games, some close plays that haven’t gone our way, and today wasn’t any different until the very end and finally something fell for us and came through.”
For TCU, it was a comeback over an OSU team which struck first and controlled most of the game.
The Cowboys scored early, getting one run in the first two innings. Both runs were unearned, but they kept the 2-0 lead up until the bottom of the ninth.
The first run scored after a single, sacrifice bunt and another single. An error on the second single allowed the run to score.
The second run came in after a hit-by-pitch, passed ball and an out in the field. The runner scored on a wild pitch.
“[TCU] didn’t pitch or play very good defense the first two innings,” Schlossnagle said. “I thought we hit some balls hard, but I thought [Tyler] Nurdin pitched really well.”
Tyler Nurdin, Oklahoma State’s staring pitcher and Paschal High School alumnus, was returning to his hometown two years. The lefty kept the two-run lead and his shutout through his 7.1 innings of work. He held the Frogs to five hits and walked two batters, while striking out seven Frogs.
Nurdin’s reliever, Brendan McCurry, a righty, got the loss after giving up the RBI double in the ninth. He intentionally walked one allowed three runs on three hits. He did not strike anyone out.
TCU’s starting pitcher, junior righty Andrew Mitchell, saw three innings of work before the bullpen came in to the game. Mitchell allowed two unearned runs to score on three hits. He walked two and hit a batter, striking out three.
Junior lefty Trevor Seidenberger came in at the top of the fourth inning for 2.2 innings. He did not give up any runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out three in his time on the mound.
Freshman right-hander Riley Ferrell came in for 0.2 innings, allowing one hit and giving up one walk. He did not allow any runs or strike anyone out. Sophomore lefty Travis Evans came in for another 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
Freshman left-hander Alex Young came in for the final 1.1 innings and the win. He gave up one intentional walk and hit a batter, but he struck out two.
Head coach Jim Schlossnagle lead the team to its win on Sunday. In yesterday's game recap, TCU 360, along with other media outlets at Saturday's game, was incorrectly informed the coach would be suspended following the ejection of the head coach.
It was clarified today that the head coach only serves a game suspension if a player or assistant coach is ejected after an altercation with an umpire. If the head coach is ejected after such an incident, it does not constitute a suspension.
The win brings TCU to a 16-20 record on the season, with a 5-7 record in conference play. Sunday’s game ended the Frogs’ homestand, and they will play again Tuesday in Arlington against the UT-Arlington Mavericks.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.