Late Rally Clinches Sweep over K-State
NORMAN – Oklahoma baseball used an eighth-inning rally on Sunday to clinch its third Big 12 sweep of the season with a 4-3 victory over Kansas State at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Sooners improved to 31-18 overall and 13-8 in the Big 12, while the Wildcats fell to 18-29 and 3-18 in the league.
The Sooners have now claimed three Big 12 series sweeps in league play for the first time since 2004.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, OU scored two runs to grab the lead. Junior Steele Walker led off the frame with a walk and redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray reached base on a K-State fielding error to put two runners on base. Attempting to bunt the runners over, sophomore Brady Lindsly legged out an infield single and a K-State throwing error on the play allowed Walker to score to tie the game at 3-3.
Junior Brylie Ware gave OU its first lead of the game one batter later with a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Murray from third. Ware led the Sooners at the plate and extended his hitting streak to nine games, finishing 2-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored.
The Wildcats broke up a pitchers’ duel with a two-run sixth inning to give Kansas State the lead. OU answered as Tyler Hardman’s two-out double cleared the bases, scoring Ware and Kyle Mendenhall to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
K-State grabbed the momentum back in the eighth inning as Kyle Barfield’s leadoff home run to right field put the Wildcats back in front, 3-2.
Freshman right-hander Cade Cavalli (3-2) earned the victory out of the bullpen. The freshman entered the eighth with runner at second base, but recorded two strikeouts to keep the deficit at one run. Junior Austin Hansen earned his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless ninth inning and striking out one.
OU sophomore right-hander Nathan Wiles pitched 5.1 innings in his 11th start of the season, surrendering four hits and one run, while walking two and striking out one. The Sooners used six different pitchers in relief to win the series finale as the OU bullpen combined to toss 3.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits with three strikeouts.
For K-State, right-hander Jaxon Passino took the loss by giving up one hit and two runs, one of which was earned, to start the ninth inning. Left-hander Will Brennan slowed down OU’s bats in his fourth start of the season for the Wildcats, allowing one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.
The Sooners head to Orlando, Fla., next weekend for a non-conference series at UCF. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. CT Friday.