Irvin, Sooners Blank Wildcats in Series Opener
NORMAN – The Oklahoma baseball team opened its final home Big 12 series with a 12-0 victory over Kansas State at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners improved to 29-18 overall and 11-8 in the Big 12, while Kansas State fell to 18-27 and 3-16 in the league.
Junior right-hander Jake Irvin struck out 10 for the second straight game, tossing six shutout innings. The junior allowed two hits and walked three, picking up his seventh career game with 10-plus strikeouts. Irvin (6-1) struck out 10 for the first time in back-to-back Big 12 starts in his career.
Offensively, the Sooners got back on track by recording 12 hits and backed Irvin with seven runs in the first four innings. Redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, hitting a two-run blast in the sixth inning.
Junior Steele Walker drove in three and was 2-for-3 with a triple, double and two sacrifice flies. Walker recorded his 200th career hit with a two-bagger to the right center gap in the first inning. Junior Brylie Ware extended his hitting streak to seven games, finishing 2-for-5 with a run scored.
OU jumped out in front in the bottom of the first inning after Murray’s sacrifice fly to right field plated Brandon Zaragoza, who reached on an infield single.
In the second, the Sooners added three more runs as Ware opened the frame with a double to right field and then Kyle Mendenhall followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Cade Cavalli’s sacrifice fly to center scored Ware to push OU’s lead to 3-0 and Mendenhall would come around to score two batters later on a Kansas State fielding error.
The Sooners tallied three runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth to put the game out of reach against the Wildcats. Murray belted his seventh home run of the year in the four-run sixth to tie his single-game career high with four RBI. OU tacked one another run in the seventh as Walker earned his first triple of the season to score Blake Brewster.
OU relievers Ryan Madden and Zack Matthews combined to throw the final three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Matthews impressed in the ninth, striking out the side on 12 pitches.
The shutout marked the fifth of the season by the Sooners as OU’s pitching staff allowed just three hits, tying a season low.
K-State right-hander Treu Hudson took the loss for the Wildcats, surrendering six hits and seven runs, four of which were earned. Hudson (1-2) walked four and struck out two in 96 pitches.
The Sooners continue the series with Kansas State Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma +.