Sooners Take First Conference Series in Waco

SUNDAY:

Junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) drilled a three-run home run in the top of the second inning that stood up in a 3-0 shutout for the No. 10 University of Oklahoma baseball team over No. 14 Baylor at Baylor Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners clinched their first league series of the season and moved to 23-5 overall and 2-1 in league games, while the Bears fell to 18-6 and 2-4.

Baylor threatened first with the bases loaded on two walks, a hit and only one out. OU freshman right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) got out of the jam with a pop up on the infield and his second strikeout of the inning.

The Sooners got their bats going immediately as sophomore first baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) lined a base hit to right to lead off the inning. Sophomore right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) then sent a double to the track in center to put two runners in scoring position. BU righty Chad Bradford got the next two Sooners, but Mendenhall took him deep to left on the first pitch of his at-bat for his fourth home run of the year.

Wiles (4-1) earned the win despite pitching just 4.1 innings as he entered the day on a pitch count due to starting and throwing three innings at Oklahoma State on Tuesday. He held the Bears scoreless, surrendered five hits and three walks and struck out five.

Baylor had at least one runner reach in all nine innings, including four leadoff base runners. The bears totaled 10 men left on base throughout the day.

Sophomore right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) and senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless-relief. Berry struck out three and walked three with one hit against him in two innings.

Olson entered with two on and one out in the seventh. On his first pitch, he rolled an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Olson, who locked down his sixth save of the season, got two more double plays, including the Sooners’ second game-ending double play of the weekend.

Ware and freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) each posted two-hit games for Oklahoma. Baylor catcher Shea Langaliers went 2-for-3 with a walk.

FRIDAY NIGHT DOMINANCE (Continues)

The Oklahoma baseball team opened its Big 12 schedule with an 11-3 win over Baylor at Baylor Ballpark on Friday night. The Sooners improved to 22-4 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Bears dropped to 17-5 and 1-3.

Oklahoma played from behind after the first inning and had just two hits through five, but took the lead in the sixth on four runs all scored off of a pair of home runs. Sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) led off the inning with a solo shot snuck inside the right field foul pole. A dropped fly ball and a one-out walk put two on for sophomore right fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.), who blasted a three-run shot over the wall in right to give OU a 5-3 lead.

The Sooners added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on two hits and three walks. A bases-loaded infield-single in the hole at short by senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) chased home the first run and Brewster added a walk to force in a run and collect his fourth RBI of the night and push the Oklahoma lead to 7-3.

In the bottom half of the seventh, the Bears got the potential tying run to the plate with nobody out after three consecutive singles loaded the bases. Senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas), who had entered an inning earlier, got a pop up to second on the right field line and induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep OU in front by four.

Four Sooner pitchers combined to throw six innings of one-run relief. Redshirt-junior lefty Austin Kerns (Owasso, Okla.) got the win to move to 2-2 on the season. He got the final two outs of the fifth inning in his 0.2 innings of work with one hit and one walk against him.

Olson finished the game with three-shutout innings pitched. He surrendered five hits, but struck out three without a walk. Freshman lefty Braidyn Fink (Moore, Okla.) pitched the ninth and erased a leadoff-walk on a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

The game got off to a rocky start for Oklahoma. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Grove (Moore, Okla.) walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the first. A hit-by-pitch drove in the first and a single off the bat of first baseman Aaron Dodson drove in the second. Grove struck out a pair in the frame and got a groundball to short to limit the damage. He worked a 1-2-3 second and got into trouble again in the third with two walks and a single to load the bases, but escaped the jam with a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

NEXT UP

The Sooners return home to L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday, March 31 for a conference series with Texas Tech. First pitch on Friday night is set for 6:30 PM.

Credits:

Brendan Flynn

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