TCU Bats on Fire in Big 12 Championship
The TCU Horned Frogs broke out the big bats for the second consecutive day in the Big 12 Championship Baseball Series last night in Oklahoma City, this time trouncing the Oklahoma State Cowboys 13-5 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The No. 11 Frogs trailed by a run entering the top of the 8th, but used a 9-run outburst in the inning to take down the No. 16 Pokes. The 9 runs scored by TCU fell just two short of the Big 12 Championship single-inning record (11) set by Texas in 2009.
The Frogs’ freshman phenom Luken Baker led the way again as he did in Wednesday’s win over Baylor. After going 5 for 5 with three singles, a double and a solo homer that cleared the scoreboard in the Frogs 12–5 win over the Bears, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year followed it up with a 3 for 5 outing against the Cowboys, including 2 runs scored and an RBI. The 6 ft. 4 inch, 265 pound Luken, looking every bit the “old-school” player with his t-shirt-less and batting glove-less attire, went deep back-to-back with sophomore catcher Evan Skoug in the 8th, an inning that saw 13 Frogs come to the plate.
The Pokes jumped on TCU starter Mitchell Traver for 4 runs in the first (3 earned), and seemed to be coasting until the Frogs returned the favor with a 4-spot in the top of the 4th. The Cowboys took a one-run lead in the bottom of the 7th, a lead that was short-lived thanks to Baker and crew.
Baker was one of the nation’s highest recruited players coming out of high school, not only for his .448 batting average and eight home runs as a senior at Class 6A Conroe Oak Ridge, but also for his 12-0 record with a 1.02 ERA as a pitcher. He was the 2014-15 Gatorade National Player of the Year (the first from Texas since Clayton Kershaw) and would have been one of the first players taken in the Major League Draft if not for his firm commitment to TCU.
With the loss, Oklahoma State will meet Texas in the second of two elimination games tonight. TCU will be back in action to face the winner of that game on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.