March 31, 2001
Norman, Okla. - Down by 10 runs after only three frames, the Oklahoma baseball team fought its way back into the game but its rally fell short in a 10-5 loss to No. 8 Nebraska Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. For the game, the Sooners (10-21, 5-9 Big 12) out hit the Cornhuskers (21-7, 7-2 Big 12) by a 13-8 margin and, following a rocky first three innings for OU pitchers, Oklahoma's hurlers shut down the Nebraska bats on only two hits and no runs for the final six innings of the contest.
The trouble began for the Sooners (10-21, 5-9 Big 12) in the third inning when the Cornhuskers (21-7, 7-2 Big 12), after scoring four runs in the second inning, plated six more runs in the third inning on only two hits. Two of the runs in the inning were forced in by walks after Sooner pitcher Buddy Blair, on in relief of starter Rocky Cherry (5-3), loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter.
Despite entering the game in the third and allowing the final three 'Husker runs to score on two hits, sophomore reliever Brandon Hankins, on in relief of Blair, collected the final two outs in the inning and silenced Nebraska over the next four innings. Hankins finished the game with a career high 4.2 innings pitched and gave up only two more hits and no runs after the third frame. Senior Matt Sorensen pitched the final two innings of scoreless relief for Oklahoma.
Senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey, who tied a career high in hits with four, ignited the Sooner comeback in the top of the fourth inning. Godsey led off the inning with a single and scored on a double by senior third baseman Jason Bartlett (1-for-5) in the next at bat. Bartlett stole third base and, following a strikeout by junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (2-for-5), senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs (2-for-5) grounded out to shortstop to bring Bartlett home and cap a two-run fourth for the Sooners.
OU failed to score in the fifth inning, but plated a run in the sixth when senior first baseman John Erick Munneke (1-for-4), with runners at first and second, doubled in Garcia from second base. Garcia would then figure in to the Sooners' next scoring effort in the next inning when he delivered a two-out single to drive in freshman second baseman Matt Fisher (2-for-4) and Godsey.
With Nebraska up 2-0 in the series, Oklahoma will look to salvage the final game tomorrow. The game is slated to start at 1 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park.