Junior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) started for Oklahoma and lasted 6.1 innings. He surrendered three runs, two of which came on back-to-back home runs to start the bottom of the fourth. Perez (4-0) totaled six strikeouts and walked just two with nine hits against him.
The Sooners answered the KSU home runs, hit by first baseman Taylor Allum and designated hitter Griffin Helms, with a three-spot on the board in the fifth. Freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) got the rally started with a one-out single. Oklahoma then loaded the bases with a pair of free passes and got a run in on a RBI-groundout off the bat of Walker. Two more runs came in on a dropped fly ball in front with two down to push the OU lead to 6-2.
The two sides traded a run in the sixth as the game went to the ninth with the Sooners leading 7-3. Oklahoma then sent 11 men to the plate in the ninth; scoring seven runs on seven singles and an error. Senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) singled twice in the inning, including a leadoff-single and a RBI-single that cleared the bases after being misplayed by the center fielder. Hollas successfully reached base in all six plate appearances with three hits and three walks.
DeRenzo added a 2-for-4 day with three walks and three RBI as he posted a RBI-single through the left side in the ninth. Nine different players recorded a hit for OU.
Kennesaw State lefty Mason Ward (1-1) went 5.1 innings in the start. He gave up seven runs, four earned, on five hits and three walks with one strikeout.
SATURDAY AND THE LONG BALL:
Oklahoma trailed 6-0 early, but four home runs flipped the game into a 17-9 win over Kennesaw State at Stillwell Stadium on Saturday afternoon after four home runs, including a blast to right and off of a local Waffle House.
Oklahoma chipped away with a single tally in the third, fourth and fifth, but KSU got a run back in the fourth as it was 7-3 through five. The Sooners loaded the bases with one out and needed a two-out error at second to bring in a run and keep the inning alive. A walk loaded the bases again and KSU went to the bullpen for a lefty to face OU sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas). In the lefty-lefty match-up, Walker blasted a towering grand slam to right on a 3-1 pitch to give the Sooners their first lead of the day at 9-7.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Owls got the first two batters aboard on a walk and a single to put runners at the corners. A sacrifice-fly made it a one-run game, but sophomore righty Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) came on for the final out and got a strikeout to keep Oklahoma in front. Berry threw 2.1 innings and struck out five without allowing a baserunner to reach against him.
Looking for insurance, the Sooner offense went back to work in the eighth; pouring in five more runs. The big blow came off the bat of sophomore right fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.), who went deep to right for his second home run of the game. Brewster had gotten the offense going back in the third, down six, with a solo shot to lead off the inning.
Before the day was done, Oklahoma tacked on three more in the ninth and Kennesaw State got one back in the bottom of the ninth to put the game at its final score.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Madden (Westminster, Colo.) steadied the effort on the bump with a scoreless third inning. Madden (3-0) did allow a single run in the fourth and sixth, but ultimately tossed 3.2 innings with two runs against him on three hits and to go walks to go with three strikeouts.
Walker finished the day driving in a team-high and career-high five runs on a 3-for-4 effort with three runs scored. Four Sooners posted three-hit games, including Brewster, who went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) was 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs and freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) went 3-for-6 with two runs.
FRIDAY NIGHT WINS:
Oklahoma baseball team hit two home runs in a five-run sixth inning in a 5-2 comeback victory over Kennesaw State at Stillwell Baseball Stadium on Friday night. The Sooners improved to 19-3, while the Owls dropped to 8-9.
The game had its share of drama late as the OU bullpen worked itself into and out of trouble in the eighth and ninth innings. Redshirt-junior lefty Austin Kerns (Owasso, Okla.) was the first Sooner reliever out of the pen. He struck out the side in the seventh, but left in the eighth with two runners in scoring position and nobody out. Graduate right-hander Vincenzo Aiello (Staten Island, N.Y.) followed with back-to-back strikeouts and a pop up to strand both runners and keep the Oklahoma lead at three.
In the bottom of the ninth, Aiello got two quick outs before a KSU rally. He walked the number-nine hitter and gave up a single through the left side to bring the potential-tying run to the plate. Owls second baseman Grant Williams hit a hard grounder behind the bag at third. Senior Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) dove toward the line and kept the ball on the infield. Williams raced to first for the infield-single, his third hit of the game, which loaded the bases.
Oklahoma turned to freshman lefty Braidyn Fink (Moore, Okla.) to face KSU left-handed right fielder Taylor Allum, who has seven home runs on the season. Fink got a called strike three to end the game and secure his first career save.
Senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) was the only OU hitter to figure out Kennesaw righty Tony Dibrell the first two times through the order. The Sooner nine-hole hitter, Hollas doubled in the third for the first Oklahoma hit of the night. His next time up, Hollas ripped a leadoff home run to right to cut the KSU lead to 2-1.