OU Baseball: Pitcher’s Duel Won on Walk-Off in Extras

Friday, April 22nd 2016, 8:43 pm
By: News 9

The University of Oklahoma baseball team notched its fifth walk-off victory of the season in a 1-0, 10-inning shutout of West Virginia in front of 1,084 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners evened their overall record at 19-19-1 with the win and improved to 5-8 in the Big 12. The Mountaineers dropped to 19-17 and 5-7.

Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) led off the bottom of the 10th after ending the top half with a sliding grab to strand a pair of runners. He went after on outside, two-strike pitch and poked a base hit to shallow center. After a popped up bunt attempt and a strike out, Wise stole second on a delay to get into scoring position. Junior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) then grounded a ball back to the mound that knocked off the glove of WVU right-hander Blake Smith, who recovered to throw to first, but was high and Wise raced home with the winning run.

“It’s a classic Friday night at a high-level college baseball game,” opened head coach Pete Hughes. “We have two really good arms going after each other. [Chris] Andritsos for us was awesome. As a freshman, he’s a strike throwing machine. [Chad] Donato for West Virginia, he’s one of my favorite players in the league. We knew we were going to have our work cut out for us tonight. We knew we were going to have to scratch one late. Lucky we did.”

Freshman right-hander Chris Andritsos (The Woodlands, Texas) was dominant in the start for OU. He held the Mountaineers without a hit through the first six innings. Andritsos went 7.2 innings of shutout ball with a career-high eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits and one walk.

“He threw his breaking ball and his change-up for strikes,” Hughes said of Andritsos. “That’s a really good fastball-hitting team so you’ve got to keep them off balance, but you’ve got to keep them off balance in the strike zone. That’s what he did today.” 

Oklahoma managed just five hits in the game, but held West Virginia to three. Wise recorded the only multi-hit game of the night in a 2-for-4 effort.

Junior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) was the first Sooner out of the bullpen. He pitched 1.2 innings on one-hit relief with a strikeout. Junior Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) then moved from shortstop to the mound with two on and one out in the top of the 10th and preserved the scoreless tie with a pair of outs, including a strikeout.

Right-hander Chad Donato was excellent in a no-decision for WVU. He went eight-shutout innings with nine strikeouts against four hits and three walks. Smith (2-1) took the loss in 1.2 innings of work. He allowed the one unearned run on a hit with two strikeouts.

The Sooners and Mountaineers take the field for game two of the series Saturday at 12:00 pm. Junior right-hander Jake Elliott (Coppell, Texas)toes the rubber against lefty Ross Vance.