Irvin Pitches OU to Game One Victory
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma baseball team opened its series vs. Kennesaw State with a 3-1 win at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners, winners of nine of their last 11, improved to 13-7 overall, while the Owls fell to 8-11.
Junior right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) pitched 6.1 innings in the win. He allowed just one run, unearned, in his final inning of work. Irvin (3-0) struck out five, did not allow a walk and scattered five hits. For Kennesaw State, right-hander AJ Moore (1-1) struck out nine batters in a five-inning no-decision. Righty Luke Torbert (1-2) took the loss in just 0.1 inning pitched as the first Owl reliever of the night.
Scoreless through five and a half innings, junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) led off the bottom of the sixth getting hit by a pitch. Senior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) then reached on a bunt-single and the pair was sacrificed into scoring position. After a strikeout and a walk, sophomore shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk to bring in the first run of the night. Junior right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) then walked to make it a 2-0 OU lead.
An error with one out opened the door for Kennesaw State in the top of the seventh. Irvin was lifted after a single put two men on. The Owls cut the deficit in half with a bases-loaded wild pitch. The Sooners got the run back in the home half as sophomore designated hitter Brady Lindsly (Keller, Texas) started the inning with a walk. Ware singled to move Lindsly to third, where he scored a batter later on a Mendenhall fielder’s choice to the hole at short.
Ware and Mendenhall each went 2-for-3 on the night. KSU second baseman Grant Williams posted a 2-for-4, two-double night.
The Sooners and Owls play game two of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. Senior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) gets the ball for OU.