Eight-Run Fifth Fuels Big 12-Opening Win
NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley capped off an eight-run fifth inning as the University of Oklahoma baseball team opened Big 12 play with an 11-4 win over Kansas State in front of 1,414 at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Friday night. The Sooners improved to 17-6 overall and start 1-0 in the conference, while the Wildcats dropped to 13-8 and 0-1; ending a 12-game winning streak.
"There a couple of really important stats from tonight's game," reflected coach Pete Hughes on his first Big 12 victory. "I think we had nine two-out RBIs. I always talk to our guys about toughness. A sign of toughness, a team being tough is two-out RBIs. There's nothing more demoralizing than a two-out RBI when you're on the opposing side. They got two in the first inning… the other stat that goes along with it; we didn't have one strikeout today. When the ball's in play, only good things can happen. You get cheap hits, you get errors, it puts pressure on the defense. That's what Coach Anderson preaches. Our guys did an unbelievable job with our two-strike approach. I can't remember coaching a team, especially in conference play, that went an entire game without a strikeout."
Oklahoma totaled eight runs on seven hits, six of which came with two outs, in the fifth inning. Haley got the frame started with a lead-off base hit and was followed by two hard, line drive outs. Junior catcher Mac James and sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn then singled to get the Sooners' first run of the inning.
Redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh tied the ball game with a single to right center and junior second baseman Keach Ballard gave OU a 4-3 lead with a bleeder through the left side. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana drove in the fourth run of the inning on a double to right; the first extra-base hit of the inning.
After a walk, Haley drilled a 0-2 pitch over the wall in right for his fifth home run of the season. It was the first grand slam by a Sooner since Ricky Eisenberg did so against Kansas on May 8, 2011.
The Sooners trailed early as Kansas State struck for two runs in the first and another in the third to take an early 3-1 lead.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Jacob Evans entered the game from the Oklahoma bullpen with two outs and a runner on second in the top of the fifth inning and ended the Wildcat threat on just one pitch. Evans (3-1) earned the 10th win of the season for Sooner relievers. He surrendered one run on one hit with two strikeouts.
"There's always one or two instances in a game where it better be controlled or it could get spiraling out of control," said Hughes. "It could put you behind the eight ball. That was [the fifth] inning, it had the feel to it. I saw a different Jacob Evans than what I've seen all year. The ball was really jumping out of his hand. The matchups were there for us; they're heavy left-handed. I thought Jacob matched up. I thought Corey [Copping] did a good job getting him to that point. For a veteran guy who's been there a bunch in the fray, Jacob Evans to just come in and pound the zone with effective pitches."
In the start, sophomore righty Corey Copping went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out four. For Kansas State, righty Levi MaVorhis (3-2) was tagged for 10 hits; yielding four runs.
Haley finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs scored to go with the four driven in on his grand slam. Three Sooners recorded three-hit games, including Hermelyn, who extended his season-high 10-game hitting streak with a 3-for-5 night with three runs and two RBI. Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse finished 3-for-5 with a run and is now 15-for-29 in the last seven games. Lorenzana added a 3-for-5 night at the plate to go with two RBI and a run scored.
Third baseman RJ Santigate was 2-for-4 at the dish, while first baseman Shane Conlon finished 2-for-5 with a run.
Game two of the series is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday as redshirt-sophomore left-hander Adam Choplick is scheduled to get the start against fellow lefty Jared Moore.
ORU drops game one 12-6 to McNeese; Trujillo shutouts Cowboys in game two, 2-0
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Guillermo Trujillo highlighted an Oral Roberts University baseball doubleheader split on Friday at McNeese State in Lake Charles, La. The Golden Eagles fell to the Cowboys in a back and forth game one, 12-6, but rode Trujillo's arm in game two, 2-0.
The slit moved ORU's overall record to 10-11 and 2-3 in the Southland, while McNeese is now 13-8 and 3-2 in the SLC.
Trujillo went all nine innings for a two-hit complete game shutout, carrying a one-hitter into the eighth inning. The sophomore struck out five batters as he improved his record to 1-1. It was Trujillo's first complete game as a Golden Eagle.
Tyler Boss led the Golden Eagles with four hits on the day with a home run in the first contest, while Jose Trevino had two hits, including a home run, three RBI's and scored twice.
Kurt Giller took the loss in game one as he went 5.1 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits to move his record to 1-3 on the season. McNeese reliever Cole Prejean (2-1) earns the victory in 3.1 innings after entering the game for Lucas Quary who the Golden Eagles touched up for six runs.
Andrew Guillotte tallied four hits, three of which came in the first contest, while Jackson Gooch, Chayse Marion and James Cantu each added three. Gooch and Marion each hit home runs.
The Cowboys outhit the Golden Eagles 16-8 in game one, the most hits allowed by the Golden Eagles this season. However, the Cowboy hits in game two were the lowest total allowed by the ORU pitching staff this season.
Game two's shutout was the first time the Cowboys had been held scoreless this season.
Boss started the scoring in the top of the second with his first home run of the season over the left-center field wall to give the Golden Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
However, McNeese took the lead in the bottom of the third with four runs on four hits. With the bases loaded, Jackson Gooch pushed a one-out double into the gap in left center to score three runs. Connor Lloyd followed with a single to straight away center to score Gooch to give the Cowboys a 4-1 lead.
The Golden Eagles regained the lead with five runs in the visitor's half of the fourth and the fifth innings. After a leadoff double by Trevino and Boss getting was hit by a pitch, Audie Afenir a ripped a two-run double to right center to cut the Cowboy lead to 4-3.
Trevino continued his recent tear in the fifth as he sent a pitch over the scoreboard in left field for a three-run home run, his fourth of the season and his second in consecutive games, giving ORU a 6-4 lead.
Following a Chayse Marion home run in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 6-5 ball game, the Cowboys added five more runs in the home half of the sixth. Cameron Toole started the scoring with three-run double give the Cowboys a 8-6 lead. Later in the inning, Marion added two more RBI's with a single to right to extend the lead to 10-6.
Gooch made it a four-RBI game in the bottom of the eighth with a single to plate Toole, and Lloyd followed with a single that scored Andrew Guillotte.
In the top of the second, ORU jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Anthony Sequeira crossed the plate when Dean Wilson reached on a fielder's choice.
Wilson flashed the leather in the bottom of the fourth with runners on first and second and one out. Wilson made a diving catch on a line drive between first and second and doubled off Gooch, who was running on the play.
Wilson continued to contribute in a big way in the ORU half of the fifth with his first hit as a Golden Eagle and scored as Forcier pulled a pitch down the right field line for his second triple of the year, giving the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead.
With the lead, Trujillo cruised through the next five innings, allowing just one runner to reach scoring position in that span.
The rubber match of the series is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Lake Charles, La.
Cowboys Drop Big 12 Opener
WACO, Texas – Oklahoma State lost its Big Conference opener Friday night as the 20th-ranked Cowboys suffered a 4-1 defeat against Baylor in front of 3,115 fans at Baylor Ballpark.
Friday's loss snapped OSU's three-game winning streak as coach Josh Holliday's club fell to 15-7 on the season. The Cowboys have now lost nine-straight games against Baylor in Waco dating back to 2008.
OSU outhit the Bears in the loss by a 9-7 margin, getting two hits apiece from Aaron Cornell, Tanner Krietemeier and Zach Fish, but the Cowboys left 13 runners stranded on the base paths, including leaving the bases full in the ninth inning.
"We had some opportunities, and we were one big swing of the bat away from putting ourselves right in the game there in the eighth and ninth innings," said Holliday, whose squad left runners on base in eight innings. "I'm proud of the kids for battling to get right on the verge there, but we came up a little short. You can't make mistakes on Friday night in an elite conference. We made some mistakes, and we paid for them. As a result, we ended up on the wrong side of the board."
Jon Perrin, making just his second start of the season, suffered the first loss of his career. The Cowboys' junior right-hander worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits while striking out five.
"Jon Perrin gave us a chance to win – I was proud of the way he threw the ball," Holliday said. "We can definitely build on that outing."
But the Cowboys wouldn't have enough offense against Baylor starter Brad Kuntz. The junior southpaw recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and scattered eight hits in seven innings to improve to 4-0.
Baylor (12-9, 3-1) took an early lead in the bottom of the first despite not collecting a hit in the inning. Lawton Langford led off with a four-pitch walk, and after advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt, he took third on a grounder to shortstop. Langford later scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Menard to put the Bears up, 1-0.
The Cowboys would draw even in the third. After Cornell singled and stole second, Krietemeier delivered a clutch two-out RBI single to make the score 1-1. The RBI was Krietemeier's team-leading 20th of the season.
The 1-1 score did not last long, however, as the Bears rallied for two runs to go back on top in the bottom of the third. With runners on the corners and one out, Mitch Price ripped a grounder that glanced off the glove of a charging Donnie Walton, and Duncan Wendel followed that RBI hit with a sacrifice fly to put BU up by a 3-1 margin.
BU tallied its final score in the sixth, taking a 4-1 advantage with an unearned run.
Southpaw Alex Hackerott came on in relief of Perrin in the sixth and worked the final 2 1/3 innings for Cowboys, allowing just one hit and tying a career high with four strikeouts.
OSU finally got into the Baylor bullpen in the eighth, and in that inning, the Cowboys had runners at first and second with two outs before pinch hitter Saulyer Saxon struck out to end the threat.
In the ninth, Tim Arakawa opened the inning with a walk, and Cornell was hit by a pitch. After Josh Michalec retired the next two Cowboys, Zach Fish walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Garrett Williams then worked a 2-2 count before grounding out to second base to end the game.
The two teams return to action Saturday at 2:05 p.m.