Someone forgot to check the tires before No. 12 TCU traveled across the Red River for TCU’s first road game since March 20.
The wheels came off the bus, and No. 14 Oklahoma (25-8) tallied 12 hits while TCU committed four errors as OU routed TCU 13-6 at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
“We got to understand how we lose games, it’s real simple,” head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “You look at the scoreboard [and] you have to recognize that when you play bad against anybody you’re not going to win, when you play bad against somebody good you’re gonna get beat bad, and that’s what happened.”
Frogs junior starting pitcher Erik Miller (1-6) notched the loss as the Frogs fell to 22-11 on the season, and OU improved to 18-3 at home.
Sooners starting pitcher Jordan John (3-0) would strike out six batters in three innings pitched for the win.
In the first inning, OU shortstop Caleb Bushyhead bunted runners to second and third base for the first out of the inning, and catcher Tyler Ogle knocked an RBI sacrifice fly deep to center field to put the Sooners up 1-0.
Frogs sophomore catcher Josh Elander then committed a throwing error to third base to bring home the second run of the inning for the Sooners.
Senior first baseman Joe Weik knocked a ball off the right field wall just over the glove of OU right fielder Cody Reine for a double in the third inning. With Weik on second and one out, junior right fielder Brance Rivera struck out swinging for John’s sixth strikeout of the evening.
On a 2-2 count, sophomore third baseman Jantzen Witte knocked a light blooper to shallow center for an RBI double to cut the Oklahoma lead to 2-1.
Junior shortstop Taylor Featherston hit John’s next pitch into center, setting up a play at the plate as Witte rounded third. Ogle tagged Witte high in a close play to end the inning.
Ogle hit an RBI single to Featherston in the third inning — the run was unearned as Featherston let the ball get into center field for an error.
OU first baseman Cameron Seitzer knocked a ball into the right field gap to bring home Ogle, bringing the Sooners’ lead to 4-1.
With four hits allowed, Miller’s night would end after 2 2/3 innings pitched.
“We had guys go to the mound completely out of character, and [freshman pitcher Andrew] Mitchell’s never gone out and not thrown strikes,” Schlossnagle said. “And I don’t know why that is, and it’s disappointing.”
With freshman pitcher Stefan Crichton on the mound, OU third baseman Garrett Buechele hit an RBI single to right field, bringing OU’s lead to 5-1.
TCU junior designated hitter Zac Jordan doubled down the left field line to start off the top of the fifth inning, but with runners on second and third base, OU’s Bobby Shore struck out Witte and Featherston. TCU would strand eight batters on the evening.
“What we didn’t do a good job of is sticking to our plan, which is hitting the ball in the middle of the field, line drive or on the ground, and we popped out too much tonight and struck out,” Witte said.
The top of the sixth was indicative of TCU’s entire night at the plate: junior left fielder Jason Coats followed up a walk to start the inning by getting picked off at first by Ogle. The Frogs would strike out 11 times in the game.
Mitchell loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Oklahoma converted the suicide squeeze on an RBI bunt from center fielder Chris Ellison.
OU left fielder Casey Johnson then smacked an RBI double to left field to put the Sooners up 8-1 with one out.
In 34 1/3 innings pitched before coming into the game, Mitchell had allowed just two earned runs. He gave up three earned runs in the sixth.
Frogs freshman pitcher Nick Frey couldn’t stop the bleeding, giving up the first home run of the evening to Ogle to put OU up 9-1 in the seventh inning.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Coats singled to left field to put runners on the corners. Elander hit a sacrifice fly RBI deep to left field to cut the Sooners’ lead to 9-2.
With TCU already flat entering the bottom of the eighth, the tires popped. Four unearned Sooner runs were scored on two throwing errors from Witte and Frey to bring the OU lead to 13-2.
Witte tied a school record in the top of the ninth inning by hitting his third double of the night, which knocked in two RBIs to bring the score to 13-4.
With runners on second and third, Featherston hit a sacrifice fly RBI for another TCU run. Coats hit an RBI single to continue the two-out rally, bringing the score to 13-6, but Elander struck out looking to end the game.
“Look at the scoreboard — we had one less hit than they did, but they beat us by seven,” Schlossnagle said. “So walk five [batters], [make] four errors…whether it’s Oklahoma consistently here for the last five years or it’s anybody else, you’re not going to win any games that way.”
The Frogs will play a Mountain West Conference away series this weekend at San Diego State. First pitch is slated for 8 p.m. CDT Friday.