Sooner Bats Stay Hot in 11-2 Win Over K-State
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team pounded out 15 hits in an 11-2 win over Kansas State in front of a season-high crowd of 1,671 at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Saturday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 18-6 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12, while the Wildcats dropped to 13-9 and 0-2.
"It develops some self-confidence offensively," head coach Pete Hughes said of his team's hitting. "I think they understand my mindset in offensive baseball. Any baseball player is going to enjoy that. They're not handcuffed in any way. When you can go out there and play free and not worry about making any mistakes or having bad swings, you tend to be a better offensive player. You play more relaxed and you swing more relaxed."
For the second straight game, Oklahoma was playing from behind; giving up two runs to K-State in the first inning. The Sooners, who lead the country in sacrifice flies, tied the game with a run in the fourth and another in the fifth; both on sac-flies from freshman DH Austin O'Brien and freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse.
Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick pitched 6.1 innings of two-run ball. He scattered nine hits and walked just two, while striking out four, but did not figure into the decision. He registered the first out of the seventh inning on his 106th pitch of the day before being relieved by sophomore lefty Jeffrey Curran. Curran recorded one out against a stretch of K-State lefties before senior righty Kindle Ladd made his 11th appearance of the season. Ladd issued a walk to load the bases then a strikeout to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the seventh, sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin walked on four pitches to lead things off. Neuse then picked up his second RBI of the day as he lifted a double to the warning track in left-center; giving the Sooners a 3-2 lead.
The Oklahoma offense came to life again in the eighth striking for eight runs, marking the second straight game that the Sooners have scored eight runs in an inning. Aikin added the first insurance run on a pop-up single to shallow right-center that scored senior second baseman Hector Lorenzana, who singled with one out. The big blow in the inning came off the bat of junior catcher Mac James. With two runs in, James approached the plate with the bases loaded and blasted a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for a grand slam. It was the third home run of the season for James and the second grand slam for OU in as many games.
"We need him back here," Hughes said of his senior shortstop. "To have the real Hector at the back end of your lineup where people think they can have some time off and have some pitches off is valuable because the kid hit 20 two-out RBIs last year. He led the team by a long shot. That's a clutch player we have at the back end of our lineup right now. Getting him going is going to make us a more balanced offense."
Ladd (1-0) was credited with the win; the first of his career in 48 games. Lorenzana led the 15-hit parade with a 3-for-4 effort to go with two runs and a RBI.
The series finale is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. Freshman right-hander Jake Elliott is scheduled to start for the Sooners.
Cowboys Drop Game, Series To Baylor
WACO, Texas – For the second-straight day, Oklahoma State suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Baylor as the Bears extended their home winning streak against the Cowboys Saturday at Baylor Ballpark.
The loss was the 10th in a row in Waco for the 20th-ranked Cowboys, who fell to 15-8 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play.
Austin Stone silenced the OSU bats as the Baylor right-hander allowed just three hits and struck out seven in his first complete game of the season. The lone run he allowed was unearned as he improved to 3-1 on the year.
"I give Austin Stone credit – he came out and pitched a very good game for Baylor today," said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. "Obviously any time a guy goes a complete game against you, you've got to respect the job that he did. He threw the ball well, he mixed his pitches, he was very efficient.
"When you don't do a whole lot more than what we did on offense, the rest of it becomes somewhat secondary. We didn't get off to a great start… They jumped out there early, and we never mounted a real good response to that early deficit. We'll continue to work collectively as a unit to clean up those mistakes that have plagued us."
Baylor (13-9, 4-1) took command of the scoreboard in its first at bat and knocked OSU starter Mark Robinette from the game after just 2/3 of an inning.
After a leadoff single and a hit-by-pitch, Robinette got Adam Toth to fly out. Up next, Matt Menard sent a grounder to shortstop, but Donnie Walton bobbled the ball and couldn't make a play, loading the bases with one out.
The next batter, Aaron Dodson, sent a grounder up the middle that Robinette was able to knock down with his bare hand then throw home for the second out of the inning.
However, Robinette would hit the next batter, Duncan Wendel, with a 3-2 pitch to bring home a run before surrendering a two-RBI single to West Tunnell that gave the Bears a 3-0 lead and ended Robinette's day on the mound.
Over the final 7 1/3 innings, the duo of Vince Wheeland and Blake Battenfield held the Bears to just one run on three hits while striking out five, but the OSU offense simply could not get anything going.
The Cowboys' lone run came in the fifth. Saulyer Saxon led off the inning and struck out but reached first safely on a wild pitch. After stealing second, Saxon took off attempting to steal third. Stone stepped off and looked poised to throw him out, but his throw to third sailed high for an error and allowed Saxon to score to make it 3-1.
BU answered Saxon's run with one of their own in the bottom of the fifth to provide the final 4-1 margin.
Gage Green, Dustin Williams and Conor Costello were the lone Cowboys to record hits in the contest, each of them picking up singles.
The two teams return to action for Sunday's series finale at 1:05 p.m.
Golden Eagles drop rubber match at McNeese State, 5-1
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Offensive struggles bit the Oral Roberts University baseball team on Saturday as the Golden Eagles dropped the series finale 5-1 at McNeese State. ORU fell to 10-12 overall this season and 2-4 in Southland Conference play, while the Cowboys moved to 14-8 and 4-2 in league action.
Tyler Boss had a double and a single in the ball game, giving him seven hits for the series. Brandon Healy picked a couple of hits, including a double, while Graham McIntyre added a pinch hit RBI double in the ninth.
Gavin Glanz (1-2) took the loss in the game in four innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits. After Kyler Stout threw a third of an inning, Jordan Romano allowed just one hit to the Cowboys in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Lucas Quary had a big afternoon for McNeese with three hits, including a double, and a RBI. Andrew Guillotte also added a pair of doubles for McNeese, while Chayse Marion had two singles.
Kaleb Fontenot (2-0), a late decision to get the start, made his longest career outing of 7.1 innings and allowed just four hits in the victory.
Jackson Gooch, one of McNeese's big bats in the series opener, struck early in the series finale as he delivered a single into shallow right to score two runs, giving the Cowboys a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Guillotte pulled his second leadoff double of the game down the left field line in the bottom of the fifth and scored on an ORU throwing error to extend the lead to 3-0. Quary added the fourth Cowboy run with a single into right to score James Cantu, and Marion scored on a balk to make the score 5-0.
Despite the three-run fifth for the Cowboys, there were a couple big defensive plays by the Golden Eagles. With the bases loaded and no outs, Healy made a diving snag at third and threw home to get the lead runner for the first out. A couple of batters later, again with the bases full of Cowboys, Domenico spoiled a potential sacrifice fly as he gunned down a runner from left who was trying to tag up and score.
The Golden Eagles turned two double plays in the contest, moving their total to six in the series.
In the bottom of the ninth, Graham McIntyre broke the McNeese shutout bid has he followed a Boss double with a double of his own, to make the score 5-1.
ORU looks to get back on track on Tuesday night as the Golden Eagles host in-state rival Oklahoma. The Golden Eagles then host familiar foe Wichita State the following night at J.L. Johnson Stadium. Both contests are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
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