The University of Oklahoma baseball team erased a five-run deficit to come back for a 7-6 win over BYU at Cashman Field on Thursday afternoon. The Sooners, winners of four in a row, improved to 7-4 on the season, while the Cougars dropped to 1-8.
BYU used a two-out rally to push across four runs in the fifth and chase OU sophomore right-hander Jake Elliott from the game. In the bottom half of the inning, junior center fielder Craig Aikin led off with a single to left-center and went to third on a two-base error by the left fielder. He came in on a RBI single by redshirt-senior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh. After a single by junior first baseman Anthony Hermelyn and a passed ball, Alspaugh scored on a failed pick-off attempt of Hermelyn at second to cut the lead to 6-3.
The bottom of the order went to work for Oklahoma in the sixth as junior catcher Chris Shaw was hit by a pitch and senior third baseman Joshua Ake walked with one out. BYU righty Kolton Mahoney was pulled in favor of lefty Mason Marshall, who got Aikin to pop out for the second out of the inning. Alspaugh then drilled a double down the right field line to score two and bring the Sooners to within one.
Sophomore shortstop Sheldon Neuse tied the game by going the opposite way with a two-strike single to score Alspaugh, who moved to third on a throw home on his double.
Shaw led off the bottom of the eighth with a double down the left field line and was lifted for junior Alex Wise to pinch run. Ake executed a sacrifice-bunt and got Wise to third. Aikin then delivered Wise to the plate by lifting a fly ball to left for a RBI sacrifice-fly.
Alspaugh finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBI. Aikin and Hermelyn each contributed two-hit days as Oklahoma outhit BYU, 10-6.
Junior left-hander Jacob Evans was dominant in two innings of relief. He was perfect and struck out each of the last five hitters he faced to move to 1-0 on the season. The OU bullpen was untouchable. Evans was preceded by redshirt-senior RHP Robert Tasin, who sat down all seven batters faced in middle relief. Elliott allowed six runs, two earned, on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
Mahoney went 5.1 innings for the Cougars with five runs allowed, two earned, on six hits and two walks, but registered nine strikeouts. The loss went to righty Keaton Cenatiempo (0-1). HE gave up one run on one hit in 1.1 innings.
Oklahoma and BYU hit the field for a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. CT.
· Oklahoma pitchers have combined to strike out 10 or more in each of the last five games.
· The Sooners used their 10th different lineup in 11 games.
· Jacob Evans earned the 11th win of his career.\
· Taylor Alspaugh collected the third three-hit day of his career and second three-RBI game of his career; both matching career-highs.
· Oklahoma leads the all-time series against BYU, 6-1, including 3-0 in games played in Las Vegas.