Junior right-hander Alec Hansen (Loveland, Colo.) pitched six-shutout innings and the University of Oklahoma baseball team blasted three home runs in a 12-0 shutout of Kansas State at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners claimed the series with the run-rule victory that ended after seven inning to improve to 24-23-1 overall and 9-12 in the Big 12. The Wildcats dipped to 24-25 overall and 6-12 in conference play.
Making his first start since March 25 at Texas Tech, Hansen (1-4) was dominant as he totaled nine strikeouts and held K-State without a hit through the first five innings. He struck out a pair in a three-up, three-down, 10-pitch first inning to set the tone. Hansen struck out two more in the third and got around a two-out walk; the first baserunner he allowed.
“A big lead and the fact that there were no runners to establish their offense was the storyline for Alec,” said head coach Pete Hughes of Hansen’s start. “Strike one with his fastball. If he throws a strike with his first two pitches thrown off his fastball, a neutral count, even that is going to go his way. Then if he gets into an advantage count the breaking ball, the slider doesn’t have to be in the zone, they are going to swing out of the zone. It is definitely early command in counts and his fastball, that’s the old added but it’s definitely true with him.”
Wildcat left fielder Michael Smith led off the top of the sixth with a bunt-single to break of the no-hit bid with Oklahoma leading 9-0. Smith got to third and was nailed out at home with the OU infield in on a groundball to second to keep the shutout alive. Hansen picked up his first win of the season and first since beating Kansas State on May 10 of last season. He allowed just two hits and one walk.
The Sooners were kept off the board in the first inning for the first time this season. They would then bat through the order in the second beginning with a single off the pitcher’s glove by junior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.). Junior left fielder Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas) brought in the first runs of the game on an opposite-field home run to left for his fifth of the year. Freshman designated hitterBlake Brewster (Moore, Okla.) soon followed with a solo shot; the first home run of his career.
Oklahoma, which hit for the cycle as a team in the frame, would put up five runs in the inning on five hits. Senior center fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) added a RBI-triple and he would score on a double by freshman third baseman Cade Harris (Leona, Texas).
“I keep saying it, but if you get runs on the board it helps on the mound, it helps that kid (Hansen) getting settled in and becomes less worrisome,” continued Hughes. “That was what he needed.”
In the third, the Sooners put up another crooked number with four runs on four hits and two Wildcat errors. The first four reached on hits, including a leadoff-double by O’Brien. Freshman catcher Domenic DeRenzo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Brewster each drove in a run in the inning.
As a team, Oklahoma outhit Kansas State, 13-3. Four Sooner recorded multi-hit games, led by O’Brien at 3-for-3 and Thomas at 3-for-4. Brewster chipped in with a 2-for-3 day and Harris a 2-for-4.
Oklahoma is off in the midweek and returns to action on Friday, May 13 for the Bedlam Series against Oklahoma State. Game one of the series will take place at Oklahoma City’s Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark at 6:30 pm and be nationally televised on ESPNU.