OU Baseball: No. 21 Sooners Fall At Home In Season Opener

Friday, February 19th 2016, 9:18 pm
By: News 9

The University of Oklahoma baseball team suffered a 3-2 loss to Northeastern in its season opener in front of 1,720 fans at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday evening. The No. 21 Sooners host the Huskies for a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1:00 pm.

“They’re tough, and we knew that coming in,” head coach Pete Hughes said of Northeastern. “Tough teams get two-out and two-strike hits. All three of their runs came on two-out or two-strike situations. That’s where they were better than we were tonight.”

Oklahoma got on the board immediately in the bottom of the first inning. Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) singled up the middle with one out and scored on a triple lifted to the track in right by junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas).

Northeastern answered back with two runs in the top half of the second with a two-out rally. Shortstop Max Burt singled, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single by right fielder Jake Farrell to tie the game. Farrell came across to put NU in front on a double deep down the left field line by catcher Josh Treff.

Sophomore second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) opened the home half of the fifth with a single through the left side, moved to second on a sacrifice-bunt and stole third to put the potential tying run 90-feet from home. Junior Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) tied the game with a sacrifice-fly to left that brought Mendenhall across.

Junior right-hander Jake Elliott (Coppell, Texas) started his second opening day and was lifted after the sixth inning. He allowed two runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out a pair.

Senior lefty Shawn Hunter (Fort Supply, Okla.) entered for the top of the seventh and allowed a leadoff double to designated hitter Charlie McConnell and got a pop-out before being replaced by senior right-hander Keaton Hernandez (Palm Springs, Calif.). Hernandez allowed a single up the middle to left fielder Pat Madigan that brought in McConnell with the eventual go-ahead run.

Hunter (0-1) took the loss, while right-hander Aaron Civale (1-0) tossed 7.1 innings of strong ball on the mound for Northeastern. In the win, he surrendered two runs on seven hits and one walk to go with eight strikeouts.

“Civale was really good and everything was as advertised,” stated Hughes. “He kept us off balance and threw a ton of strikes. I liked seeing us get close at the end and having a quality at-bat in a pressure situation, but we’ve got to have those quality at-bats in the middle and start of the game as well.”

Oklahoma attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth as Mendenhall singled with one down to get a runner aboard. After Flansburg walked, OU had two on and two out for Wise, who hit a sharp liner to short that ended the game.

Burt finished the game 3-for-3 to lead the Huskies’ lineup. Three Sooners recorded multi-hit games, including Neuse with a 2-for-2, two-walk game. Wise went 2-for-5 and Mendenhall 2-for-4.

Game Notes:

Sheldon Neuse moved into a tie for 12th all-time in triples with Mark Cole (1987-89) at OU with the 11th of his career.

Neuse recorded the xx multi-hit game of his career.

The Sooners are 23-2 all-time when playing opening day at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Oklahoma is 36-19 on opening day dating back to 1962.

The game was the first between Oklahoma and Northeastern all-time.

Jake Elliott started his second consecutive opening day. He is the first OU pitcher to do so since Dillon Overton (2012-13).

The Sooners’ opening day attendance of 1720 is the most since 1,522 in 2011.

Oklahoma is 1-2 on opening day under head coach Pete Hughes and 16-18 as a ranked team.

Northeastern 3, Oklahoma 2 (Feb 19, 2016 at Norman, Okla.)


Northeastern........ 020 000 100  -  3  8  0      (1-0)

Oklahoma............ 100 010 000  -  2  8  1      (0-1)


Pitchers: Northeastern - Civale, Aaron; Fitzgerald, Mike(8) and Treff, Josh. Oklahoma -

Elliott, Jake; Hunter, Shawn(7); Hernandez, Keaton(7) and DeRenzo, Domenic.

Win-Civale, Aaron(1-0)  Save-Fitzgerald, Mike(1)  Loss-Hunter, Shawn(0-1)  T-2:33  A-1720

Weather: Sunny, 73, NE 7 MPH