Baseball Drops Series Finale to TCU
NORMAN – The Oklahoma baseball team scored two runs in the ninth inning, but dropped its series to No. 23 TCU, falling 6-4 Sunday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners (23-10, 5-4 Big 12) chipped away at the TCU lead with runs in the first and third innings after the Horned Frogs (19-11, 5-4 Big 12) scored four runs in the first two frames. OU put a runner on base in all but the fifth inning but could not muster a scoring rally until the ninth when right fielder Diego Muniz laced a two-run double down the left field line to reach the final tally.
Muniz went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. First baseman Tyler Hardman was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI single.
“I thought it was a great game,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “Levi went out and struggled in the first two innings, then turned it around and found his rhythm again. That was huge for him. It’s not what you do when you get knocked down, it’s what you do when you turn it around, and that was really big for him, I thought. Our offense hits some balls hard, kept battling and kept battling. All of a sudden they gave us a couple of free bases, and we kind of fell short at the end.”
OU scored in the bottom of the first inning on a base hit by Hardman that scored Muniz from second base. The RBI made the score 3-1 after TCU put up three runs in the top half. Muniz doubled to lead off the third inning and moved around to score on a groundout by Ware to cut it to 4-2.
TCU took the lead in the first inning on a three-run home run by center fielder Johnny Rizer and added a run in the second inning on a single by first baseman Jake Guenther to go ahead 4-1. The Frogs scored two runs in the seventh on a wild pitch and an RBI single by third baseman Conner Shepherd to make it 6-2.
In the ninth, shortstop Brandon Zaragoza and center fielder Brady Harlan drew consecutive one-out walks and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. After a mid-count pitching change, Muniz ripped a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner to score both runners. Muniz finished the weekend with three doubles and a home run, accounting for eight runs. Both he and Hardman batted .455 in the series.
OU starter Levi Prater (5-3) tossed three straight scoreless innings after allowing runs in the first two, getting better with each frame. He struck out four of the last seven batters he faced and retired the side in order in the fifth. He finished the game with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings. TCU starter Brandon Williamson (3-1) struck out five and allowed four hits in 6.0 innings to earn the win while James Notary earned the save.
The Sooners are home for two midweek games, playing host to Texas Southern at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday at Mitchell Park.