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OU Baseball: Sooners Drop High-Scoring Affair

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The Oklahoma baseball team went back-and-forth with No. 3 TCU before ultimately falling, 11-9, in front of 1,416 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night.

On a windy evening, both teams took advantage of a stiff breeze out to left field in the early innings. Catcher Anthony Hermelyn put OU in front in the first inning for the second straight game with a two-run home run to left. TCU answered in the fourth with a solo shot by first baseman Jeremie Fagnan, the first Horned Frog hit of the game, to center, a two-run shot to left by right fielder Nolan Brown and a solo shot to left by third baseman Derek Odell to put TCU in front, 4-2.

Trailing 5-2 in the fifth, the Sooners put two runners in scoring position following a double to left-center by third baseman Joshua Ake. Center fielder Craig Aikin doubled in one run and a RBI-groundout by right fielder Taylor Alspaugh cut the deficit to one. Hermelyn then tied the game on a base hit up the middle.

TCU regained the lead against lefty Jeffrey Curran, the first OU reliever of the night, in the sixth. Odell, second baseman Garrett Crain and shortstop Keaton Jones all singled with one out to plate a run and chase Curran. Center fielder Cody Jones recorded the fourth straight single to plate Crain before a 3-6-3 groundball-double play ended the inning with Oklahoma trailing, 7-5.

The Sooners had a two-out rally in them as second baseman Kyle Mendenhall and Ake singled at the bottom of the order. Aikin then doubled to left-center to drive in both runs, but was cut down after briefly heading for third and turning back for the second base bag, but the score was tied, 7-7.

Catcher Evan Skoug singled and stole second against right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. to get into scoring position. With two away, he came home to put the Horned Frogs ahead for good on a double by Brown. TCU went on to score in five consecutive innings as it pulled away with three insurance-runs in the eighth, all with two outs, including a two-run single by Steinhagen.

Chasing four runs, Oklahoma put together one final rally. Aikin singled and Alspaugh walked to bring in TCU right-handed closer Riley Ferrell. He quickly got two outs, but a wild pitch put two in scoring position and Robert Tasin delivered both to the plate with a single back up the box before Ferrell could close the door for his 14th save of the year.

Garza (2-4) took the loss in two innings of relief for the Sooners as he allowed four runs on five hits and a walk to go with three strikeouts. Tasin started on the mound and lasted five innings with five runs given up on five hits and two walks.

Despite giving up a two-run double to Aikin, the only batter he faced, lefty Drew Gooch (1-0) earned the win for the Horned Frogs. Right-hander Preston Morrison surrendered seven runs, five earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four.

Aikin led all players with four hits, including two doubles, to go with three runs scored and driven in. Hermelyn, who drove in three runs, Mendenhall and Ake all added two-hit games.

For TCU, which totaled 15 hits to Oklahoma's 13, Brown and Crain each recorded three hits.

Game three of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon with right-hander Alec Hansen on the hill for the Sooners.

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