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College Baseball: Sooners, Cowboys, Golden Eagles Pick Up Series Wins

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Cowboys Claim Series Win At Top-Ranked TCU

FORT WORTH, Texas — Oklahoma State rode the left arm of Michael Freeman and a big third inning at the plate to a 7-2 victory over top-ranked TCU Sunday at Lupton Stadium as the 19th-ranked Cowboys earned a series win over the Frogs.

Freeman was masterful as the senior southpaw tossed his first-career complete game, striking out nine – one shy of his career high – and allowing just one earned run in a 127-pitch effort.

The Cowboys, who improved to 16-7 and are 2-1 after their opening weekend of Big 12 Conference play, provided Freeman all the run support he needed with a two-out, six-run rally in the third inning.

“It's good to know that what I can do is working and that I can go a complete game, that my stuff is good enough to beat guys that are supposed to be the number one team in the nation,” said Freeman, who improved to 4-0 on the season. “There's pressure in a rubber game, but you try and treat it like just another game and try not to let those outside thoughts have too much of an effect on you. You just play a pitch at a time and do what I know and let the guys work behind me, and they really did an awesome job.

“It's awesome to come out and win a series against a really good team. I think we proved a lot to people, and it's really great to have team wins like that.”

In the game's pivotal third inning, TCU starter Alex Young, who entered the game with a 4-0 record and a 1.33 ERA, quickly retired OSU's first two hitters.

But a Gage Green single jump started what proved to be a huge two-out rally. Following Green's hit, Costello reached on an error, and Dustin Williams walked to load the bases. Up next, Corey Hassel ripped a double down the left field line that cleared the bases and gave OSU a 3-0 lead.

Hassel's double was the first of four-straight hits for the Cowboys. Jon Littell followed it with a single, and David Petrino then brought home OSU's fourth run with an infield single.

The Pokes weren't done as Jacob Chappell smacked a two-RBI double to left field that gave OSU a 6-0 lead and drove Young out of the game.

With the big lead, Freeman continued to fluster the TCU hitters as he allowed just two hits over the first six innings.

“It was an awesome day for Michael Freeman and our ballclub,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “(Freeman) pitched a beautiful ballgame and solidified the game early with some zeroes, which we hadn't been able to do the first couple of nights. And then with two outs in the third, our team put together one of those rallies that you look back on now and say ‘If you've done that once, you can do it again.' Walks, base hits, an error, then a couple of clutch doubles by Corey Hassel and Jacob Chappell, and the next thing you know we've got six runs on the board.

“Between Mike's start and that six-run inning, we gained control of the game and some momentum. And in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, (Freeman) really came at them and got some quick outs. He was in control pretty much from start to finish.”

The Horned Frogs (17-4, 4-2) finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh, plating an unearned run on an RBI infield single by Nolan Brown.

Both teams scored their final runs in the eighth, with Donnie Walton picking up an RBI on his first hit of the season, a two-out single that made the score 7-1, before TCU pulled to within five in the bottom of the inning.

Along with Freeman, Hassel had a career day, tying a career-high with three hits while recording a career-best three RBIs as OSU began defense of its 2014 Big 12 title by winning its eighth consecutive league series.

“You go on the road and play an outstanding TCU team with as high-end pitching as you're going to face anywhere, and to win two-of-three is a great accomplishment, especially considering some of the elements we had to play through with the wet conditions most of the weekend,” Holliday said. “I'm very proud of the kids. We answered the challenge today, and it's a good feeling as we get on the bus and head back home.”

OSU returns to action Tuesday when the Cowboys host Wichita State at 6 p.m. at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.


Sooner Bullpen Dynamite in 3-2 Win

NORMAN, Okla. – A rested bullpen took control and paved the way for a 3-2 win for the University of Oklahoma baseball team over No. 10 Texas Tech in front of 1,412 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners claimed the first Big 12 series of the season with a second-straight win to improve to 17-9 and 2-1, while the Red Raiders fell to 16-8 and 1-2.

“It's a good way to start conference play, especially at home,” opened head coach Pete Hughes. “Hopefully, that'll keep people coming out and get the place a little louder. That's a really good team over there and [Texas Tech] is going to win a lot of games. I liked that it showed the depth of our program. We used a lot of guys, played in tight spots, rebounded after a game-one loss where we got thumped. A lot of good things happened this weekend. It was a good character win.”

Tech had a run in on two hits and two walks to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the first against OU's redshirt-junior left-handed starter Adam Choplick. Hughes immediately turned to his bullpen; a luxury he had following sophomore RHP Alec Hansen's complete game the day before.

Redshirt-senior right-hander Robert Tasin righted the Sooner Schooner and limited the damage to one run as he got a strikeout, pop out and groundout to send Oklahoma to the plate.

“[Tasin] won the game for us,” continued Hughes. “There's always that one inning that sort of dictates the game and you just don't know what it is. And sure enough, it was the first inning. That thing could've gone south; that's could've been a five-run deal in a second, and I don't like the way we play from behind. So that's all that I was thinking. So Robert comes in with bases loaded, no outs, 1-0, and I told him ‘don't try to do too much. If you can damage control this thing, you let up one run, we come in and it's, 2-0.'

“For him to go, punch out, pop-up, ground out, it's unbelievable. I can't say enough. And then for him to get settled in, they weren't comfortable against him. He's just a senior who's ready for it and gave us a chance to win. He was awesome.”

The Sooners picked up the momentum in the bottom half, starting with a double by redshirt-senior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh. He went to third on a base hit to shallow left-center by Craig Aikin scored when the ball wasn't fielded cleanly to knot the game at 1-1.

The bottom of the third opened with a hard double into the left-center gap by freshman second baseman Kyle Mendenhall, who moved to third on a sacrifice-bunt by junior first baseman Kolbey Carpenter. Alspaugh brought in Mendenhall with the go-ahead run on a single to left for his second hit of the day.

Tasin continued to cruise through the middle innings; working around a two-out rally by the Red Raiders in the fourth. With two outs, Texas Tech put two runners in scoring position with a double by center fielder Hunter Hargrove and an OU error. Tasin then shut the door with his fifth strikeout to maintain a one-run lead.

The Sooners added, what proved to be a needed, insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Junior catcher Chris Shaw drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice-bunt by Mendenhall. Carpenter smacked a base hit up the middle and Hughes gave Shaw the green light at third to head home to push the lead to 3-1.

Junior RHP Keaton Hernandez, the second OU reliever of the day, issued a one-out walk and hit-by-pitch in the top of the seventh. Junior lefty Jacob Evans entered and saw one inherited runner score on an error at first, but limited the damage to a run with a strikeout and a grounder back to the mound.

Tasin (4-1) picked up the win by matching a career-high 5.1-scoreless innings pitched. He surrendered just two hits and two walks, while striking out six. Evans notched his second save of the season in 2.2 hitless-innings to go with three strikeouts and one walk.

Alspaugh finished the game 4-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Junior left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) added a 2-for-3 afternoon.

For the Red Raiders, right-hander Dominic Moreno (1-3) took the loss in five innings of work. He scattered eight hits, allowing at least one in every inning pitched, and one walk for three runs, two earned, and four strikeouts. Right-hander Corey Taylor added three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief.

The Sooners are back in action on Tuesday for a non-conference game on the road at TCU.

Notes:

• Robert Tasin matched a career-high innings pitched at 5.1; both of which have come in relief.

• In the month of March, Tasin has tossed 10.2-scoreless innings.

• The Sooner pitching staff totaled 10 strikeouts to mark the 15th double-digit strikeout game of the season and third in a row.

• Taylor Alspaugh notched Oklahoma's second-straight four-hit game. He went 4-for-4 to record his first career four-hit day. It was also his fifth multi-hit game of the season.

• Jacob Evans recorded his second save of the season and 11th of his career.

• The Sooners lead the all-time series with Texas Tech, 44-32-1.

• Oklahoma is now 2-2 against ranked teams this season.

• Kolbey Carpenter went 1-for-3 with a RBI and is now a .474 (18-for-38) hitter in his career against the Red Raiders with nine RBI.

• The Sooner lineup reached the 10-hit mark for the eighth time this season.

• Following a loss, Oklahoma is 5-2 this season.


Golden Eagles Power Past IPFW 12-4 to Finish Sweep

TULSA, Okla. – The bats for the Oral Roberts baseball team stayed hot Sunday as the Golden Eagles finished a 12-4 win to complete a three-game Summit League sweep against IPFW.

The Golden Eagles jumped on the Mastodons early plating a run in the first and third innings before breaking the game open in the fifth. ORU finished with 11 hits on Sunday and totaled 36 hits over the weekend.

Audie Afenir, Anthony Sequeira and Derrian James all picked up two RBI as Afenir finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. James added three runs scored while also adding a pair of doubles for the Golden Eagles.

Kurt Giller earned his third win of the season to move to 3-3 as he allowed just two hits and two runs through five innings.

Turning Point

ORU broke the game open with a four run fifth inning scoring four runs on the three hits. An Afenir single up the middle scored two of the runs before Sequeira singled home Rolando Martinez to give the Golden Eagles a 6-1 lead.

Individual Leaders

Oral Roberts: Afenir finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Sequeira and James also added two RBI while Matt Whatley joined the trio with a pair of hits.

IPFW: Brock Logan and Jackson Boyce finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Inside the Box Score

- ORU used two big innings to put away IPFW just as they had done all weekend scoring four runs in the fifth and five more runs in the seventh.

- Giller's six strikeouts was one shy of a season-high after striking out seven at Louisiana Tech on Feb. 28.

- The Golden Eagles totaled 39 hits over the three-game series with IPFW. It was the second most in a series this season behind 40 hits against SIUE on Feb. 20-21.

- Stafford extended his on-base streak to 16 games after drawing a walk on Sunday.

- Afenir and Matt Brandy have now reached safely in 12 straight games.

- Every starter for ORU tallied an RBI on Sunday as Emmanuel Forcier and Dean Wilson both entered in the eighth inning with only Forcier earning an official at bat.

Scoring Summary

- Brandy pushed a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Whatley in the bottom of the first after Whatley reached on an error to start the inning.

- James gave ORU an 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third after a lead-off double saw him score two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Stafford.

- ORU scored four runs on three hits in the fifth inning starting with a bases loaded walk to Martinez. A single from Afenir plated Stafford and Whatley before Sequeira singled into right to score Martinez.

- Trevino pushed Soat across the plate for the first run for the Mastodons in the sixth. Logan singled up the middle to score Whitman who had doubled earlier in the inning to make it a 6-2 lead for ORU.

- A sacrifice fly from Cummings in the seventh started a five run, seventh inning for the Golden Eagles. Roark singled just one batter later to score Afenir before James' second double plated Roark and Sequeira. Whatley capped the scoring in the inning with an infield single to score James.

- Sequeira doubled in the eighth to add another insurance run for ORU as Afenir scored from first.

- A sacrifice fly from Herberger gave IPFW its final run in the top of the ninth as the Mastodons threatened, but couldn't take advantage, leaving two runners on.

Up Next

ORU heads to Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday for a single mid-week meeting with the Trojans. First pitch against UALR is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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