FORT WORTH – 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 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 lead-off 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 head’s 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.
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.