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OU Baseball: Sooners Earn Split On Day Two

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The University of Oklahoma baseball team came away with a doubleheader split against Northeastern in front of 1,821 fans at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Saturday. The Sooners (1-2) fell in the opener, 5-3, before taking the nightcap, 10-4. Oklahoma and Northeastern (2-1) will play the final game of the weekend Sunday at 12:00 pm.

“To me, that was a must-win game,” stated head coach Pete Hughes. “I know it’s game three, but that’s why we extended Sheldon [Neuse]. We just needed to get that win, get out of here and will figure out the rest tomorrow. That win should relax everybody for tomorrow.”

Junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) pitched in relief in both ends of the doubleheader. He totaled 43 pitches, including 36 in 2.2 innings to earn the save in game two.

The Sooners played from behind immediately in both games. After allowing a run in the top of the first of game two, they responded with a run in the bottom half without the benefit of a hit as Neuse picked up a RBI on a groundout that plated junior first baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.), who started the inning off with a walk.

The Huskies regained the lead in the third as designated hitter Ryan Solomon registered his second RBI-single of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Oklahoma once again turned a leadoff walk into the game-tying run. Freshman center fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) drew the walk and scored on an error in center field following a single by senior left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas).

The Sooner offense finally came to life with a big inning in the sixth as it plated five runs on three hits. Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) doubled down the left field line to lead things off. Following a pitching change and two walks, OU had the bases loaded with nobody out. Sophomore third baseman Quin Walbergh (Edmond, Okla.) then poked an 0-2 pitch into right for a double that scored two and put the Sooners in front.

A pinch-hit sacrifice-fly from junior Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas) extended the Oklahoma lead to 5-2. Flansburg then capped off the inning with a two-run home run to right-center to make it 7-2 with the Sooners’ first homer of the season.

Junior lefty Austin Kerns (Owasso, Okla.) pitched through the sixth for OU to get the win and turn to 1-0 on the season. He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks to go with three strikeouts. Lefty James Mulry (0-1) took the loss for Northeastern. He lasted five innings and surrendered four runs, three earned, on three hits and five walks, while striking out four.

“We needed an extended outing in game two. He did a great job and pitched out of tough situations to give us a chance to hand the game to Sheldon,” Hughes said of Kerns.

The Huskies later made it a three-run game with two runs scoring on back-to-back walks with the bases loaded in the seventh. The Sooners ended up tacking on three more runs in the eighth to put the game at its final 10-4 score. Flansburg, who finished the game 3-for-4, led off with a single and Neuse came through with the big hit; a two-run double to right-center. Wise finished off the scoring with a RBI-groundout that brought in Neuse. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles in the game.

Oklahoma and Northeastern will play the final game of the series Sunday at 12:00 pm. Freshman RHP Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) takes the mound for OU.

Oklahoma 10, Northeastern 4 (Feb 20, 2016 at Norman, Okla.) (Game 2)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Northeastern........ 101 000 200  -  4  8  2      (2-1)

Oklahoma............ 100 105 03X  - 10  8  2      (1-2)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitchers: Northeastern - Mulry, James; Christitan, Brian(6); Lippert, Isaac(7);

Robinson, Tyler(8) and Treff, Josh. Oklahoma - Kerns, Austin; Olson, JB(7); Neuse, Sheldon(7)

and Martinez, Renae; Wagoner, Chandler.

Win-Kerns, Austin(1-0)  Save-Neuse, Sheldon(1)  Loss-Mulry, James(0-1)  T-3:05  A-1821

HR OU - Flansburg, Jack (1).

Weather: Sunny, 81, SSW 13 MPH

Mulry faced 2 batters in the 6th.

Kerns, A. faced 2 batters in the 7th.

Game 1:

Junior right-hander Alec Hansen (Loveland, Colo.) pitched just one-plus inning and took the loss for the Sooners. He allowed just one hit, but was felled by the free bases. Hansen walked three in the first and issued a hit-by-pitch; all with two outs. The Huskies capitalized for three runs, including a RBI-single by shortstop Max Burt, who came in to score on a wild pitch from Hansen.

After a leadoff walk in the top of the second, Hansen was lifted for freshman right-hander Kyle Tyler (Oklahoma City). He went 4.1 innings in relief and scattered four hits and two walks; yielding one unearned run, while striking out three. Fellow freshman RHP Connor Berry (Sugarland, Texas) came on in relief and tossed three innings of one-run ball. He struck out three and gave up two hits and two walks.

Right-hander Dustin Hunt pitched just 4.2 innings in the start for the Huskies for a no-decision. He surrendered just one run on five hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts. In relief, RHP Andrew Misiaszek (1-0) got the win. He worked 4.1 innings, allowed two runs, and was tagged for three hits and a walk, while striking out four.

Burt finished the game 2-for-5. Flansburg and Thomas each recorded two-hit games for the Sooners.

Game Notes:

Alec Hansen pitched his shortest outing since a two-inning start against Kansas State in the 2015 Big 12 Tournament.

Cody Thomas recorded the first multi-hit game of his career in game one. His first single of the day marked his first hit in 703 days (3/19/14).

After redshirting a year ago, Chandler Wagoner picked up his first career hit, a single, in his first career at-bat.

The Sooners have started three different catchers in three games after using just two players behind the plate in 2015.

Jack Flansburg reached base nine times in 10 plate appearances in the doubleheader and had a streak of eight times reached in a row snapped in the fifth inning of game two.

Flansburg reached base five different ways on the day with a four singles, a home run, two walks, a hit-by-pitch and an error.

Sheldon Neuse recorded the third save of his career. He has recorded one in each season at OU.

Neuse’s three-RBI game in game two marked the ninth three-plus RBI game of his career.

Neuse walked three times in game one and Steele Walker walked three times in game two. The last to do so was Austin O’Brien with four walks at Oklahoma State (4/15/14) in an 18-inning win.

O’Brien picked up a pinch-hit double in game one to move his career pinch-hit average to .357 (10-for-28).

Northeastern 5, Oklahoma 3 (Feb 20, 2016 at Norman, Okla.) (Game 1)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Northeastern........ 300 100 001  -  5  8  2      (2-0)

Oklahoma............ 000 010 200  -  3  8  2      (0-2)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitchers: Northeastern - Hunt, Dustin; Misiaszek, Andrew(5) and Treff, Josh. Oklahoma -

Hansen, Alec; Tyler, Kyle(2); Berry, Connor(6); Hunter, Shawn(9); Neuse, Sheldon(9) and

Wagoner, Chandler; Martinez, Renae; DeRenzo, Domenic.

Win-Misiaszek, Andrew(1-0)  Loss-Hansen, Alec(0-1)  T-2:56  A-0

Weather: Sunny, 77, S 12 MPH

Hansen, A. faced 1 batter in the 2nd.

Hunter, S. faced 1 batter in the 9th.

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