Fourth-ranked TCU scored five runs in the third inning and held on for a 6-4 win over Oral Roberts, Tuesday at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (5-7) staked themselves to an early lead when Tyler Saladino connected for an opposite field three-run home run off Greg Holle (2-0). Seth Furmanek followed with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by P.J. Sequeira as ORU took a 4-0 lead.
ORU maintained its 4-0 lead until the third inning when the Horned Frogs (13-2) batted around and took advantage of three Golden Eagle errors to score five runs. Jason Coats and Jimmie Pharr laced RBI singles and Jerome Pena knocked in a run when centerfielder Joey Winiecki dropped a fly ball with a runner at third base. Two more runs scored on errors by Saladino and Sequeira as TCU went ahead, 5-4.
TCU scratched across their final run in the top of the eighth. ORU reliever Jeff Burleson hit Pena with one out, and Pena advanced to third on a single by Aaron Schultz. Pena later scored on a Burleson wild pitch as the Horned Frogs stretched their lead to 6-4.
After the first inning, the Golden Eagles never mounted a serious threat against Holle. The junior right-hander allowed only a pair of singles from the second inning on until being relieved with two outs in the sixth. In all, Holle surrendered four runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out nine without a walk.
Tyler Lockwood pitched the final 3.1 innings to earn his first save. Lockwood surrendered just one hit and fanned four.
Mark Guest (1-1) suffered the loss for ORU. The junior left-hander allowed five runs (three earned) and walked three while striking out five batters in three innings.
Bryce Smolen relieved Guest to start the fourth inning and kept the Horned Frogs off the scoreboard over the next 3.2 innings. Smolen retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed just two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
ORU managed just six hits. Winiecki was 2-for-4 with a run scored and stolen base to lead the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles visit No. 12 UCLA for a three-game series, beginning 6 p.m., Friday in Los Angeles, Calif.