TCU

TCU unleashes 22 hits, 16 runs in rout of Southern Illinois

Evan Skoug, left, celebrates with teammates Derek Odell, Conner Wanhanen and Garrett Crain after hitting his first home run.
Evan Skoug, left, celebrates with teammates Derek Odell, Conner Wanhanen and Garrett Crain after hitting his first home run. Special to the S-T

Evan Skoug and Keaton Jones each hit their first career home runs, and the TCU offense had 22 hits in a 16-4 win Saturday over Southern Illinois at Lupton Stadium.

The Horned Frogs (2-0) will go for a season-opening sweep of the Salukis (0-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Skoug, a heralded freshman who started at catcher Friday night and first base on Saturday, muscled a three-run homer over the left-center field wall to put TCU up 4-0 in the first inning before SIU recorded an out.

Skoug took the first pitch of the at-bat, a low slider, and then keyed in on Kyle Pruemer’s fastball for his first hit of the season.

“Coach [Jim Schlossnagle] told me before the game to kind of have a slow-burn mentality, which is like even-keeled the whole way,” Skoug said. “So I was a little less jittery than Friday night.”

Cody Jones, Connor Wanhanen and Derek Odell opened the game with singles, with Odell’s scoring Cody Jones.

After Skoug’s blast, Jeremie Fagnan drove home Garrett Crain on a fielder’s choice, and Zack Plunkett scored Nolan Brown on a groundout. Cody Jones then scored on a double steal in the next inning to extend TCU’s lead to 7-0.

The Frogs continued to pile on.

Keaton Jones, who at shortstop on Friday night broke the school assist record, pulled a two-run homer to left field in the third, and Cody Jones doubled home Fagnan. Cody Jones went 5-for-5 and scored twice.

The Salukis scored three runs in the fourth, but TCU responded with three more in the bottom half of the inning.

Sophomore left-hander Tyler Alexander started for the Frogs, going four innings and giving up five hits. Right-hander Brian Howard (1-0) pitched the fifth and sixth innings to earn the win.

The three runs SIU scored on Alexander were unearned, as the Salukis’ fourth inning was sparked by leadoff batter Greg Lambert reaching on an error.

“You always want to have your team score runs for you, but it’s also hard to catch a rhythm when you’re sitting in [the dugout] for long innings,” Schlossnagle said. “I’m not trying to make an excuse for him, but he was good enough to win today.”

Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST

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