TCU first baseman Luken Baker, one of the top power hitters in the Big 12, sustained a serious injury to his left arm Friday night in a game at Oklahoma and will miss a “significant” amount of time with the NCAA postseason less than a month away, coach Jim Schlossnagle said.
“He is under continual evaluation, and we hope to know more in the coming days,” Schlossnagle said.
Baker, the Horned Frogs’ leader in slugging percentage and second in home runs, was hurt in a collision at first base and taken to a hospital.
Schlossnagle described the injury as “significant.” He said there would be no idea of a time frame for a recovery until Baker could meet with the team doctor on Monday.
The Horned Frogs won the game 9-6 to move into position to clinch the Big 12 regular-season championship with one more win. Game 2 was scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, with the series finale at 1 Sunday.
TCU (36-11, 16-6) is in position to earn a national seed when the NCAA playoffs start June 2. The Big 12 tournament begins May 24.
TCU’s Luken Baker hit 11 home runs last season, including four in the Big 12 tournament, one in a Super Regional at Texas A&M and two in the College World Series.
Last season, Baker hit seven home runs in postseason, including two in the College World Series.
This season, he is hitting .317 with a .528 slugging percentage and 41 runs batted in. He has hit eight home runs, eight doubles and one triple and leads the team in walks.
Baker was hurt on a play with Oklahoma’s Brandon Zaragoza batting. The Sooners shortstop singled to the pitcher, and the collision at first allowed two runs to score that tied the game in the eighth inning.
A reporter at the game tweeted that the play reminded him of a play in which OU player Austin O’Brien sustained an elbow ligament injury that caused him to miss four weeks.
Baker had not missed a game at TCU, starting and playing in 114 games before missing Saturday.
The Frogs scored three times in the top of the ninth to win, clinching no worse than a share of the regular-season title. Another win would mean the outright championship and top seed at the conference tournament, plus a high likelihood for a top seed and home field advantage in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.