The University of Oklahoma baseball team’s road struggles in the Big 12 continued as it lost both ends of a doubleheader at last-place Kansas on Saturday. The Sooners fell by scores of 7-2 and 9-8 at Hoglund Ballpark to drop their record to 20-22-1 overall and 6-11 in the Big 12, while the Jayhawks improved to 19-23-1 and 5-8.
The two sides traded runs in the first inning with one each of the opener. Oklahoma pushed one across on a shallow sacrifice-fly by Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas). Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.), who led off the game with a base hit, went to third on a single by junior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) and slid around the tag to score. Kansas got even with a leadoff-home run from right fielder Joe Moroney.
The Jayhawks then put up three runs in the third on four hits, including a two-run double by first baseman Ryan Pidhaichuk.
The Sooners cut the deficit to two in the sixth with a two-out rally. Freshman left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) picked up his second of three singles and scored on a double to center by junior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) Oklahoma failed to score anymore in the inning and left the bases loaded. The Sooners squandered another opportunity in the seventh as they had two on and one out before a double play was awarded to KU on a runner’s interference call at second.
Kansas then went back to the plate after the seventh-inning stretch and registered a second three-run inning. The Jayhawks loaded the bases with nobody out after a single, error and a walk. OU picked up an out on a force-out at the plate, but center fielder Joven Afenir then delivered the big blow with a two-run double.
Lefty Ben Krauth (4-4) allowed just two runs and scattered nine hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts for Kansas. Freshman right-hander Chris Andritsos (The Woodlands, Texas) lasted just 4.2 innings in the start. Andritsos (4-4) surrendered four runs on seven hits and three walks.
The scoring started immediately once against in game two as Oklahoma put two runs on the board, but Kansas answered with four. The Sooners trailed by as many as four and tied the game in the seventh on a three-run home run by freshman catcher Domenic DeRenzo (Pittsburgh, Pa.), his second homer of the game.
The Jayhawks regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh without the benefit of a hit. The go-ahead run came in on an error at first. Oklahoma once again used the long-ball to draw even as Neuse drilled his second home run of the night to tie the game, 8-8.
Kansas then won the game on a walk off in the bottom of the ninth; once again without a hit. The inning started with a hit-by-pitch and a walk before Neuse moved from shortstop to the mound. The Jayhawks attempted to sacrifice, but Neuse fielded and threw to third where the runner was safe on a bang-bang play. Neuse then struck out a batter with five Sooners on the infield. Oklahoma then went back to three outfielders and KU third baseman Tommy Mirabelli lifted a shallow fly to left that scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice-fly.
Game three is set for a 1:00 pm first pitch on Sunday. Freshman right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) gets the ball for the Sooners.