The University of Oklahoma baseball team salvaged its series at Kansas with a 17-6 victory in front of 1,278 at Hoglund Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners snapped an eight-game slide in conference road games to improve to 21-22-1 overall and 7-11 in the Big 12, while the Jayhawks dropped to 19-24-1 and 5-9.
Oklahoma played from behind immediately as Kansas scored in the first inning for each game of the series. Catcher Michael Tinsley put KU in front with a two-run single.
The Sooners used the longball to answer in the top of the third. Junior second baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) reached on a leadoff-single that was kept on the infield and scored on a home run to left-center by junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas). Junior designated hitter Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas) then followed with a solo shot out to right-center to give OU its first lead of the day.
Back-to-back singles set the table in the bottom half of the third for the Jayhawks. A bunt-single from left fielder Devin Foyle loaded the bases and Tinsley put Kansas back in front with a two-run single to left to push his RBI total to four.
Oklahoma followed with crooked numbers in the next two innings to regain and claim a commanding lead. The Sooners got four runs on four hits in the fourth, including a two-run triple to the gap in right-center by Flansburg that put OU back in front. In the fifth, Oklahoma needed just three hits to score six runs. Freshman left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) had the big knock of the inning; a bases-clearing, three-run double into the right field corner.
Freshman right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) made his return to the weekend rotation for Oklahoma. Irvin (3-1) allowed four runs over five innings of work on nine hits, two walks and one strikeout. Right-hander Jackson Goddard (2-4) took the loss for Kansas in a 3.1-inning start. He surrendered six runs on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout.
The Sooners outhit the Jayhawks, 15-11, as four players recorded multi-hit games. Flansburg reached all five times in a 4-for-4 effort with four runs scored and a walk. Junior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) added a three-RBI, 2-for-5 day and Neuse chipped in with four RBI.
Oklahoma returns home for its final four home games of the season next week. The Sooners welcome Oral Roberts on Tuesday night for a 6:00 pm first pitch.