|W - Neuse (1-0)||2.2||4||0||0||1||1|
|L - Ferrell (1-1)||2.0||3||2||1||2||2|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Lorenzana||5||1||2||1||0||0|
|TCU - Odell||6||1||2||3||0||0|
|Player of the Game|
|Jake Elliott // Fr. // SP
Elliott pitched five innings of two-hit ball with four strikeouts in his first start since April 5 against CSU Bakersfield.
FORT WORTH, Texas – The University of Oklahoma baseball team let a five-run lead in the ninth slip away, but rallied in extras for a 7-5 win in 11 innings over No. 10 TCU on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 27-24 overall and 7-13 in the Big 12, while snapping a 13-game win streak for the Horned Frogs, who dropped to 35-14 and 14-6.
Sophomore second baseman Kolbey Carpenter (Waco, Texas) started the 11th-inning rally with a one-out single to center and moved to second following a walk. Redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh (Broken Arrow, Okla.) ripped a single to right and Carpenter was thrown out at home trying to score from second. Sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas), who drew the one-out walk, moved to third and scored on the following play on a wild pitch. Alspaugh came in to score on an error by the third baseman to give Oklahoma a two-run lead.
Freshman right-hander Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas), who started the game at third base, earned the win in his first career decision. He allowed four hits and no runs in 2.2 innings of relief with one walk and one strike.
“You always try to judge the character your team has when you’re going through a tough stretch,” began head coach Pete Hughes. “We had a game setup to win and we let [TCU] crawl back in the worst way possible. No one panicked and we got back to baseball, lived in the moment and kept moving forward. It was a great team win; great character win.”
The Horned Frogs forced extra-innings by batting around for a five-run, five hit bottom of the fifth inning. TCU loaded the bases and with one out scored its first run with a base hit by center fielder Cody Jones. Third baseman Derek Odell then made it a one-run game with a bases clearing triple to the right field corner. Neuse moved to the mound to relieve sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. (New Braunfels, Texas). Left fielder Boomer White singled to tie the game before Neuse recorded two outs to send the game to the 10th.
The Sooners threatened first in extra innings as Neuse walked and sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) hit a one-out double to right to put two in scoring position, but OU failed to bring a run in. The Horned Frogs put two in scoring position with one out after a single and a double. Oklahoma issued an intentional walk to load the bases and it paid off as sophomore second baseman Carpenter, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, turned a 4-3 double play.
Freshman right-hander Jake Elliott (Coppell, Texas) made his first start on the mound since April 5 after being sidelined with a back injury. He tossed five-scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, while striking out four. Elliott (3-3) was aided by three double plays; none of which were standard groundball double plays.
“I gave a team ball,” Hughes said in response to his team’s effort. “We don’t get the win without a great start from Elliott. To get a quality start out of him, it starts there. Offensively, I think we’ve done a great job against one of the top staffs in the nation.”
Oklahoma loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana (San Diego, Calif.) ended a stretch of 15 retired in a row with a base hit to lead-off the inning. Junior second baseman Keach Ballard (Durant, Okla.) followed with a base hit and Aikin reached on an error as he attempted to sacrifice.
Alspaugh and Neuse put the Sooners on the board with RBI groundouts. Alspaugh hit a slow roller to second and Neuse hit a hard grounder deep in the hole at short.
Freshman right-hander Alec Hansen (Loveland, Colo.) relieved Elliott to start the sixth. Throwing in the high 90s, he worked around three walks in 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts. Sophomore lefty Jeffrey Curran (Long Beach, Calif.) took over for Hansen with two on and two out in the seventh to strike out the only batter he faced.
In the top of the seventh, Haley reached on an error at short and stole second to move into scoring position. Sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn (McKinney, Texas) singled to put runners on the corners and a base hit through the right side by freshman designated hitter Niko Buentello (Lewisville, Texas) scored Haley to push the lead to 3-0.
Oklahoma added some much needed insurance in the top of the ninth, starting the innings with three straight hits. Hermelyn singled and freshman pinch-hitter Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Lorenzana singled to bring in Hermelyn and Aikin added a RBI groundout to score O’Brien.
The rubber-match of the series will take place Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick (Denton, Texas) will start for the Sooners.