TCU catcher Evan Skoug no doubt would like his average to be higher.
But his RBI numbers are just fine.
He drove in his 16th run, second-most on the team, with a seventh-inning single that gave the Horned Frogs a 6-5 victory against Oklahoma State on Saturday night, clinching a Big 12 baseball series at Lupton Stadium.
Skoug singled sharply into center field to score Austen Wade, who walked with two out and reached second on Cam Warner’s single. The hit brought Skoug’s average to .221 with the regular season just past the one-third mark; he hit .301 last season and .285 as a freshman.
“My confidence is back, I think,” Skoug said.
You’re starting to see the Evan of two years ago, the Evan of last year.
TCU right fielder Austen Wade, on catcher Evan Skoug
His RBI numbers are on schedule to be near the 51 he drove in last year and 46 the year before. In the opener of the series, he drove in three runs with a home run in the fifth inning.
“You’re starting to see the Evan of two years ago, the Evan of last year — really fluid at the plate,” Wade said. “I think he’s starting to basically have a little rhythm to himself. It’s really good to see him have quality swings all night.”
Durbin Feltman pitched the ninth for his sixth save, working around a one-out single. Freshman Trey Morris (1-0) won with two innings of relief.
“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable,” Skoug said. “I feel my swing is more simple. I’m back to being me and not worrying about numbers or this or that. I’m just out there hitting the ball hard.”
TCU (16-5, 4-1) won a series against Oklahoma State (15-8, 0-2) for the first time since 2013, its first season in the Big 12.
“The last two years against them have been kind of rough,” Wade said. “We went to their place last year and got handled pretty well. We talked before the series about handling our business the right way, going about our at-bats the right way. We came out last night, toward the latter part of the game, really made a statement with our at-bats, and it really carried over into today.”
Both wins in the series for TCU have gone to freshman pitchers. Left-hander Haylen Green (1-0) won on Friday night. Trey Morris (1-0) won on Saturday night.
Oklahoma State led after a five-run sixth inning that included two bases-loaded, no-out situations.
Pinch hitter Chad Cabbiness’ triple was the big blow, but it scored only two runs instead of three when a relay from Wade to Warner to Skoug cut down a run at the plate, leaving the game tied. But Luken Baker’s fielding error behind the bag at first base with two out let the go-ahead run score.
Baker led off the bottom of the inning with a single and scored on Nolan Brown’s ground ball to second, tying the game 5-5.
TCU led 4-0 after third-inning RBI singles from Warner and Josh Watson followed by a play with two errors that let two runs score. With runners at the corners and two out, third baseman Garrett Benge couldn’t handle a ground ball by Nolan Brown, and shortstop Jacob Chappell collected the carom only to throw it past the bag at second.
“I just really feel like we’re turning a corner offensively, especially against a great team, good pitching staff,” Schlossnagle said. “I’m really proud of the way we played today. It wasn’t pretty. There’s some grit involved in that.”
Heasley, Hearrean (6), Lienhard (8) and Neustifter, Simpson (6); Lodolo, King (6), Morris (6), Green (8), Feltman (9) and Skoug. W—Morris (1-0). L—Hearrean (0-1). S—Feltman (6). 2B—TCU: Wade (6). 3B—OSU: Cabbiness (2). HBP—OSU: McCain. SB—OSU: Cash (1), Benge (1); TCU: Wade (9), Brown (11). LOB—OSU 8; TCU: 4. E—OSU: Benge (8), Cabbiness (2), Chappell (3); TCU: Skoug (5), Baker (2), Watson (2). T—3:24. A—5,502. RECORDS—Oklahoma St. 15-8, 0-2 Big 12; TCU 16-5, 4-1 Big 12.
TCU vs. Oklahoma State
1 p.m. Sunday, ESPN2