Nolan Brown liked seeing Evan Skoug homer.
He liked seeing Luken Baker homer.
So when he came up in the eighth inning, he had something extra inside of him to hit a game-tying home run as part of a rally for a 7-5 victory against Oklahoma State in the opener of a Big 12 series Friday night at Lupton Stadium.
Austen Wade’s two-run double later in the inning provided the go-ahead runs, completing a 10th come-from-behind victory for the Horned Frogs this season. TCU (15-5, 3-1) trailed 2-0 in the fifth before Skoug’s three-run homer and 5-3 entering the eighth, when Baker led off with a drive to right center.
It’s nice to see when they go deep fly and everything’s clicking for them. It shows good signs for us.
TCU’s Nolan Brown, on the breakout home runs by Luken Baker and Evan Skoug
“Having that 3-, 4-hole get going kind of fuels us,” Brown said. “Having them see success is huge for them, and it’s huge for us and kick-starting the offense. Me, I’ll park one here and there, but that’s not my game. My game is to get on base and let them do the damage.”
Skoug had not homered since Feb. 28. Baker had not homered since March 3 and broke an 0-for-14 slide.
“It’s nice to see when they go deep fly and everything’s clicking for them,” Brown said. “It shows good signs for us.”
Skoug struck out with two runners on in the first inning and walked in the third. He said he felt confident going into his fifth-inning at-bat, when he homered with a towering drive to right on a 1-2 pitch against Tyler Buffett to give TCU its first runs of the game and the lead.
“I hit a lot off the breaking-ball machine this week,” Skoug said. “It was nice to see the work pay off.”
Durbin Feltman pitched the ninth for his fifth save, retiring Garrett Benge on a ground ball to short with two runners on. They had reached on a single and a hit-by-pitch, bringing the Cowboys’ hottest hitter to the plate as the go-ahead run.
“They’ve had our number for so many years in terms of winning series,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said of Oklahoma State (15-7, 0-1), which entered with an eight-game winning streak. “We certainly still haven’t done that. But it’s nice to get this one, especially when you’re behind early and then gave up the lead.”
It was the Frogs’ fifth multi-homer game of the season. They have one four-homer game, one three-homer game and three two-homer games.
I hit a lot off the breaking-ball machine this week. It was nice to see the work pay off.
TCU’s Evan Skoug, on his three-run home run in the fifth
TCU starter Jared Janczak, coming off a two-hit outing last week against Kansas that included eight no-hit innings, was knocked out two batters into the sixth inning, unable to hold his first lead of the game.
After a hit batter and a single put runners on the corners, Sean Wymer entered and gave up a run-scoring single but got an out on the bases, a strikeout and a ground ball to leave the game tied.
Janczak, who came in with five victories in his first five starts, struck out five and walked two. One run against him was unearned.
Buffett, Teel (7) and Simpson. Janczak, Wymer (6), Green (8), Feltman (9) and Skoug. W—Green (1-0). L—Teel (2-2). 2B—TCU: Wade (5), Merrill (3). HR—TCU: Skoug (3), Baker (5), Brown (2). HBP—OSU: Cash, Benge. SB—OSU: McCain (7); TCU: Wade (8), Watson (2), Merrill (6). LOB—OSU 7; TCU: 7. E—OSU: Cash (3); TCU: Skoug (4). T—3:13. A—4,794. RECORDS—Oklahoma St. 15-7, 0-1 Big 12; TCU 15-5, 3-1 Big 12.