True enough, but that’s only been three games.
The junior catcher has actually been the hottest hitter in Fort Worth for much longer.
Since March 17, when the Horned Frogs opened Big 12 play, Skoug has hit .354 in 34 games. He’s homered 12 times in the past 27 games and 10 times in the past 18.
He’s reached base safely in 30 straight, and nine of his last 11 hits have been for extra bases.
In the past seven games, he’s hit six home runs, three doubles and driven in 16 runs.
That’s what you call a tear.
He’s a big-time player, and he’s responded in a big-time way.
TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli, on catcher Evan Skoug
“He’s a big-time player, and he’s responded in a big-time way,” third baseman Elliott Barzilli said. “It’s incredible to watch. A lot of fun.”
With Baker out at least until the regional round of the NCAA playoffs because of an injury to his left arm, Skoug’s surge is coming at a good time for the Frogs, who are trying to close out the regular season on a high and remain in the national-seed discussion as they start a three-game series at Cal on Thursday.
“It’s the best baseball he’s ever played,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He’s an All-American right now, that’s for sure.”
Skoug was hitting .175 on March 17, and he was striking out at the highest rate of his career.
The strikeout numbers remain high, but they’ve leveled off. What’s changed is the type of contact Skoug is making, and to all fields. He homered to center against Texas two weeks ago, to left at Oklahoma last weekend and to right against UTA on Tuesday.
I feel great. I feel very confident. I know that I can do this.
TCU catcher Evan Skoug, on his hitting
“I feel great. I feel very confident. I know that I can do this,” he said. “I’ve always had the ability to hit, but it was just getting back to normal, especially after those first six weeks. It’s just a testament to how buying into a process and buying into a routine and buying into what the coaches are saying — even through the tough times — it’s amazing what that did for me, what it does for anybody in this lineup, honestly. Never got too high, never got too low.”
Skoug is likely headed for professional baseball next season, a career .294 hitter at TCU with 31 home runs, 42 doubles, one triple and 150 runs batted in. Fifty games into his junior season, he leads the Frogs in slugging (.560), runs scored (47), runs batted in (53) and home runs (15).
“At the start of the season, it was especially tough for me because everyone was getting off to a good start,” Skoug said. “Everyone was providing, everyone was producing. So that’s all I wanted to do. I just wanted to drive in runs and give my pitching staff some support.”
Evan Skoug has homered in three consecutive games and six of the past seven. He has two grand slams this season.
There is no question TCU needs Skoug’s bat to stay as hot as it can with the Big 12 tournament starting next week and the regional round the weekend after.
“Evan is swinging it really well. I’m really proud of him just because he’s worked so hard,” pitcher Mitchell Traver said. “This is not surprising to me or anybody else who sees how he prepares. Maybe it is to the average bystander who’s not able to witness what he does day in and day out. He deserves what’s happening right now, and obviously, it’s huge for this team.”
No. 6 TCU at Cal
9:05 Thursday, 9:05 Friday, 3:05 Saturday