After two key strikeouts this past weekend, TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle knew senior first baseman Jeremie Fagnan was due for a hit. Fagnan delivered when the Frogs needed it most.
Fagnan came off the bench and ripped the game-winning RBI single on the first pitch he saw from Oklahoma (17-10) reliever Jacob Evans to propel No. 4 TCU to a 4-3 win in 10 innings Tuesday night.
“It was a tough position to put him in against (Jacob) Evans who is a really good pitcher,” Schlossnagle said. “He did a great job of coming in and putting the ball in play.”
Fagnan inherited a 1-2 count after being subbed in for pinch-hitter Austen Wade. Wade hurt his hand attempting to lay down a bunt in the at-bat.
“I knew that the game was tight and that I might have a chance to come in and pinch-hit,” Fagnan said. “I just tried to stay as relaxed as possible and have my mind right as I go through that at-bat.”
Tyler Alexander earned a no-decision for TCU (18-4) after pitching seven strong innings allowing one run on six hits.
Schlossnagle said he liked what he saw out of his left-hander Tuesday night.
“Tonight was as good as he’s pitched all year,” Schlossnagle said. “He was up in the zone a bit early but once he started getting the ball down he was his normal self. I wouldn’t mind him pitching on Friday nights. We just have four guys who are really good and right now we have him on Tuesday’s.”
The lone run Alexander allowed was in the first inning. Taylor Alspaugh and Craig Aikin provided back-to-back one-out singles for the Sooners to put runners at first and second.
After Anthony Hermelyn lined out softly to Michael Landestoy at first, Sheldon Neuse singled through the left side to give OU the early 1-0 lead.
Alexander would settle in after that, allowing only four base runners over the next six innings.
Trey Teakell (1-1) picked up the win in relief of Alexander. He came into the game in the eighth inning with the Frogs up 3-1.
Teakell would give up the lead in the eighth thanks to a couple of Frog miscues.
Kolbey Carpenter lead the inning off for OU with a single to center field. Alspaugh would follow with a single of his own that left fielder Dane Steinhagen misplayed to put runners at first and second.
After an Aikin infield single cut the TCU lead to 3-2, Teakell balked with runners on first and third to tie the game at 3.
However, Teakell would bear down and retire three of the next four Sooner hitters to escape the jam. Teakell finished the night throwing three innings, giving up five hits and two runs in the win.
Even though his group lost the lead in the eighth, Schlossnagle said he didn’t think his group did a bad job defensively in the frame.
“The ball that got thrown away on the bunt, nobody else in our bullpen even gets to that ball,” Schlossnagle said when referencing Aikin’s infield single. “Overall, I didn’t think we played bad defensively in the eighth.”
Neuse (0-1) was tagged with the loss for Oklahoma. He allowed a run on one hit in 1 1/3 innings. Neuse started the game at shortstop for the Sooners and went 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Sooners offensively.
Jeffrey Curran got the start on the mound for OU. He picked up a no-decision after throwing four innings and allowing five hits and three runs.
TCU got on the board off Curran in the fourth inning as he walked Nolan Brown with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1.
The Frogs would take the lead in the next inning on Cody Jones‘ solo home run to lead off the fifth.
Schlossnagle pointed out the impact Jones has made offensively for the Frogs.
“He’s the most dynamic offensive player we have in the lineup with his legs and his bat,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s been a pleasant surprise, so know we just need to get a couple of other guys going with him.”
Derek Odell would add an RBI single later in the inning to push the TCU advantage to 3-1.