FORT WORTH, Texas — No. 5 TCU rode a dominating performance on the mound from Brian Howard and home runs from Evan Skoug and Elliott Barzilli to an 8-1 victory over Missouri State on Sunday night. The win punched TCU’s ticket to Omaha for the fourth consecutive year.
Brian Howard (11-3) was at his postseason best once again for the Horned Frogs. After allowing a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, he held the vaunted Missouri State offense in check. On the night, he surrendered just four hits, walked two and struck out 11.
TCU spotted Howard with a run in the top of the first on two out single from Cam Warner that plated Zach Humphreys. The freshman singled with one out and moved to third with heads-up base-running on a ground out.After Missouri State tied the game in the bottom of the first, TCU struck back in the second to regain a lead it would never relinquish. Nolan Brown reached on an infield single to open the inning and scored from first on an Elliott Barzilli double.
Evan Skoug gave the Frogs breathing room with a two-run home run in the third inning. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to push the lead to four, 5-1. Barzilli’s three-run blast in the ninth put the exclamation point on the victory.
Omaha is all these guys know. #ToadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/O89DQX1LQR— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) June 12, 2017
Sean Wymer came on in relief with a runner on and one out in the eighth. He struck out four of the five batters he faced.
Stat of the game
4 — TCU is making its fourth straight trip to the College World Series. The Horned Frogs are the first team since North Carolina accomplished the feat from 2006-09 to go four consecutive years.
• TCU will be making its fifth appearance in the College World Series.
• TCU improved to 51-34 all-time in NCAA tournament play.
• TCU swept a Super Regional for the first time in program history.
• TCU is 6-2 all-time in Super Regional games played at Lupton Stadium.
• TCU is 11-8 all-time in NCAA Super Regional games.
• TCU has scored multiple runs in an inning 98 times this season.
• TCU pitchers tallied double-digit strikeouts for the 27th time this season.
• Brian Howard racked up his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.
• Howard surpassed the 100 strikeout mark for the first time in his career. He is the first Horned Frog since Alex Young (103, 2015) to have over 100 (101) strikeouts in a season.
• Evan Skoug hit his 20th home run of the season and the 36th career home run.
• Skoug is the first Horned Frog since Chris Connally (23, 1997) to hit 20 home runs in a season.
• Skoug recorded his 19th multi-RBI game of the year and the 45th of his career.
• Austen Wade has reached base safely in 12 straight games.
• Nolan Brown stretched his hitting streak to seven games.
• Zach Humphreys registered his seventh multi-hit game of the season, finishing with a career-high three hits.
• Cam Warner collected his 20th multi-hit game of the year and the 43rd of his career.
• Elliott Barzilli notched his 13th multi-hit game of the season and the 55th of his career.
• Barzilli hit his sixth home run of the season and the 17th of his career.
• Barzilli collected his sixth multi-RBI game of the year and the 29th of his career.
TCU improves to 47-16 overall with the victory. The Horned Frogs' first game in Omaha will be against the winner of the Florida/Wake Forest Super Regional matchup which will be completed on Monday. Florida won Game 1, but Wake Forest was leading Game 2 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth when it was postponed.