NORMAN, Okla. -- The OU baseball team completed the first game of the annual Red-White series with a 5-5 tie on Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners will resume the three-game series on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Norman. The annual closure to the fall season will conclude on Saturday at 11 a.m. The games are free and open to the public. Each game is scheduled for seven innings.
"This was a well-played game," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "The coaching staff is extremely pleased with the way we executed today. Our offense was getting hits with nobody out and advancing runners.
"In addition, our pitching was pretty solid. Our two starters, P.J. Sandoval (white) and Nich Conaway (red) pitched strong. Despite getting into some jams, I was pleased with the way P.J. battled to get out of trouble. And Nich showed great poise as a freshman and kept his team in the game."
Offensively, for the white team, senior Chuckie Caufield and Joe Dunigan led the way. Caufield tripled in the fifth inning and Dunigan doubled into the gap in the first (Dunigan also singled on a drag-bunt), combining for three runs, while both outfielders recorded a stolen base.
"Those two really displayed tremendous versatility out there today," added Golloway. "Those are the kind of things we have been working on a majority of the fall. Chuckie and Joe are just a few of the great athletes we have this year that will allow us to do a number of different things on offense."
In the other dugout, senior first baseman Kevin Smith hit a sole homer in the first inning for teh red team. Smith continues to be one of the Sooners' top hitters throughout the fall. Senior second baseman Russell Raley also had a good day at the plate. Raley singled and walked in his two other at-bats. But it was Raley's glove that shined on Wednesday.
With two outs and the game-winning run on third base (Joel Pedretti), junior outfielder Aaron Ivey stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning. Ivey cracked what appeared to be a single up the middle but Raley snagged the ball on a diving backhand. Then from one knee, Raley threw out the speedy Ivey at first base, ending the threat and the game in a 5-5 tie.
"That was an outstanding play," said Golloway. "Russell has always showed great range and he is just one of the many reasons why are infield will be very deep this season."
Out of the Sooners bullpen, juniors Ryan Mottern (red) and Joseph Hughes (white) pitched effectively, each relieving the two starting pitchers.