FORT WORTH, Texas — Resiliency was Oklahoma’s best trait on Saturday. It’s what allowed it to claim a 7-5 victory over TCU in 11 innings at Lupton Stadium.
The victory lifted OU to 27-24 and 7-13 in the Big 12 Conference. More importantly, it created a three-game edge for OU over Kansas State for the eighth and final spot in the Big 12 tournament. One more win by the Sooners or a loss by the Wildcats in the remaining four conference games gives OU the spot.
Saturday’s win came after the Sooners blew a five-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Big 12’s hottest team.
“You always try to judge the character your team has when you’re going through a tough stretch,” OU coach Pete Hughes said. “We had a game set up to win and we let [TCU] crawl back in the worst way possible. No one panicked and we got back to baseball, lived in the moment and kept moving forward. It was a great team win; great character win.”
The Horned Frogs (35-14, 14-6) brought a 13-game winning streak into Saturday’s game and seemed like they couldn’t lose. Jake Elliott, who made his first start since April 5, Alec Hansen and Jeffrey Curran held the Horned Frogs to two hits over the first seven innings. Closer Ralph Garza Jr. worked a perfect eighth to set up the drama.
But Garza was ineffective in the ninth. Loading the bases and giving up the first run on a base hit by Cody Jones and then a three-run triple by Derek Odell.
The Horned Frogs scored the tying run on Boomer White’s bloop single to score Odell against reliever Sheldon Neuse.
It was the last run Neuse (1-0) allowed. OU’s regular third baseman threw 22⁄3 innings of relief with one walk and one strikeout.