walk off the weekend

The No. 15 University of Oklahoma baseball team walked off a 5-4 winner against No. 2 Texas Tech behind a ninth-inning home run from junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners and Red Raiders move out of the second weekend of Big 12 play with identical records of 25-6 overall and 4-2 in league play.

Mendenhall led off the bottom of the ninth and sent a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left-center to provide Oklahoma with its second walk-off win of the series. Last weekend, it was also Mendenhall that blasted the game-winner; a three-run homer in the second that stood up in a series-clinching win at Baylor.

“The way we draw it up, we have the fastest guy in college baseball on then we steal second base then we get him to third,” started head coach Pete Hughes. “That is scripted. However, I did not script Kyle Mendenhall hitting a home run. That is college athletics, it is never by the script.”

Hughes alluded to the Sooners getting the go-ahead run on in the eighth when senior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) drew a leadoff-walk. Redshirt-freshman Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas), who doubles as an OU quarterback, was called on to pinch-run. He stole second and advanced to third on a groundball out to the right side, but was stranded after Tech right-hander Jose Quezada got a hard grounder to first with the infield drawn in and a strikeout to end the threat.

Oklahoma led early with three runs in the first, but it was Texas Tech with a 4-3 lead after scoring three in the fourth. The Sooners turned the game over to their bullpen for the fifth and held the Red Raiders hitless the rest of the way.

“Five innings, no hits,” remarked Hughes. “I just looked at that. Nathan [Wiles] did a good job. We love him because he pounds the zone and it doesn’t scare him away from getting out of his zone. Then we bring in Connor [Berry] and JB [Olson] and they give us hitless baseball for five innings and put our team in a position to win.”

Sophomore right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) was the first OU reliever out of the pen. He sat down six of the eight hitters he faced in two innings with two walks and two strikeouts. Senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) entered after Berry walked the leadoff man in the seventh. Olson (2-0) went on to finish the game with four strikeouts and the only batter to reach in his three innings of work was a two-out hit-by-pitch in the ninth.

Back in the top of the first inning, the Sooners took advantage of a pair of walks and a wild pitcher with clutch two-out hitting. Sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) lined a base hit back up with box with runners on the corners to give OU a 1-0 lead. Senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) then launched a two-run double to the track in right to make it 3-0.

Texas Tech got a run back in the third as shortstop Orlando Garcia led off with a double and scored on a groundout to first. An inning later, catcher Michael Berglund hit a leadoff-home run to trim the Sooner lead to one and the Red Raiders then mounted a two-out rally with three consecutive hits to take a 4-3 lead.

Rain began to fall as the game hit the fifth inning. In the bottom half, Oklahoma took advantage of senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) reaching on a leadoff-error at second. The Sooners then successfully executed a hit-and-run with one out as Flansburg punched a base hit through the right side to put runners on the corners. Hollas came in to score the tying run on a fielder’s choice hit to the right side by Walker.

For the game, Texas Tech outhit Oklahoma. 8-5. Walker led the Sooner hitters with a 2-for-4, two-RBI day. Garcia finished 2-for-2 and third baseman Josh Jung 2-for for the Red Raiders.

Friday:perfect on mitch's night

  • The night began with the 2017 Sooners, honoring a member of the OU family, Mitchell Whitaker. Mitchell, an avid OU baseball fan, was diagnosed with Leukemia in August of 2005 at age eight. Also a talented baseball player, Mitchell continued to lead his Bethany Broncos baseball team even while receiving chemotherapy treatments.Mitchell continued to play baseball and attended OU Baseball camp in 2007, while receiving more chemotherapy treatments. In August of 2007, Mitchell suffered a relapse and was admitted to the hospital. Mitchell passed away on September 27, 2007 at age 10. The Sooners have continued to honor Mitchell, and the lasting impact he has had on the Sooners program through the "Go Mitch Go" Award, awarded to a player each year. This years recipients were seniors, Austin O'Brien, and Renae Martinez.

The No. 15 University of Oklahoma baseball team upset No. 2 Texas Tech, 6-2, in front of 2,502 in attendance at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners snapped the Red Raiders 10-game win-streak as both team’s move on with identical 24-5 overall and 3-1 Big 12 records.

Sophomore right-hander Dylan Grove (Moore, Okla.) put a rocky first inning behind him and struck out a career-high 11 batters in six innings of one-run ball. Grove (1-1) walked the first two batters of the game and allowed a run on a one-out single by Tech first baseman Hunter Hargrove before striking out the next two.

“Well he has been there before, so he learned from experience,” head coach Pete Hughes said of Grove’s start. “Last weekend he did the same thing, but he extended it even more. This weekend, it was good to see him get back on track a lot quicker than he did last time and that is what you want to see is kids learning from their mistakes and make adjustments, get settled in, keep your composure, take a step back and you end up having a really good outing and that is what Dylan did for us in game one.”

Grove struck out five in a row beginning in the first and going through striking out the side in the second; the beginning of a stretch of 10 in a row retired. For the game, he walked six and gave up just two hits.

Trailing 1-0, sophomore first baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) drew a leadoff-walk in the bottom of the second. Sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) followed with a single to shallow center to set the table. Senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice-bunt to move the two into scoring position. Ware was able to score on a fielder’s choice hit to short by junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.). The throw went to third, where Walker slid in under the tag.

Sophomore right fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.) then came to the plate and ripped a ball to first that was knocked down and Hargrove tagged the bag to get Brewster. Mendenhall, the OU runner at first, got into a rundown allowing Walker to score from third with the go-ahead run.

Graduate right-hander Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, N.Y.) entered out of the pen for the Sooners in the top of the seventh. He struck out five, including the final out of the night. Aiello allowed one run on two hits.

Oklahoma added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth as a walk, a hit-by-pitch and an intentional-walk loaded the bases with one down. Martinez ripped a bases-clearing double to left-center that pushed the Sooner lead to 6-1.

“You have a senior, and I talk about seniors all the time because those situations get really quiet for those guys, with freshman it speeds up on them,” Hughes said of Martinez’ at-bat. “I knew the approach was mature and had a chance to be effective. When you send him in that situation, he is looking for a fastball upstairs and that is what he told me before he went up and then he executed. Awesome kid, awesome captain, showed great leadership.”

next up:

The Sooners return to field on Tuesday when they take on in-state opponent Oral Roberts. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.

The Sooners then hit the road next weekend for the 2017 edition of the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners look for their third straight series win against Texas. Games can be heard on KREF 1400.


Ty Russell/ Bob Whitaker/ Brendan Flynn 

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.