COLUMBIA, Mo. -- It took almost two hours on Friday and an hour and a half on Saturday, but the Sooners snapped a four-game losing streak in Big 12 play with a 2-1 victory over No. 17 Missouri in ten innings at Taylor Stadium. The series opener was split between Friday and Saturday after the first game of the series was suspended due to inclement weather.
Chuckie Caufield, a pinch hitter in the tenth inning, scored the game’s winning run after he was hit for the 13th time this season (team high). The junior, with some head's up base running, advanced to third on Russell Raley’s single to shallow left field and scored on Matt Bose’s sacrifice fly to center field.
After Daniel McCutchen put together a fine start (5.1 innings, 7 strikeouts) on Friday, Garrett Patterson took over the game in the bottom of the sixth on Saturday and recorded eight strikeouts in his fourth win of the season. It was not all smooth sailing for the lefty, who walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning, but ended the Tigers’ threat with three strikeouts in the frame.
The fifteen punchouts collected by McCutchen and Patterson marked a season high for the Sooners, topping the 12 set against Kansas and Northwestern State earlier this year.
OU got the scoring started in the second frame when Kody Kaiser led off the inning with an infield single and reached second on a throwing error by the Missouri third baseman, John McKee. Eric Thornton sacrificed Kaiser to third and then on a missed opportunity at a squeeze bunt, Kaiser was caught in a run-down and scored after McKee committed his second error on a dropped ball.
With OU ahead 1-0, Sooners’ starter Daniel McCutchen built off his solid start against Texas a week ago, with seven strikeouts in the first six innings. Missouri finally got to the hurler in the bottom of the fifth inning after J.C. Field scored on a throwing error by Freddy Rodriguez.
The Tigers’ starter, Max Scherzer was also effective, striking out nine and allowing just one hit. He was relieved in the seventh inning on Saturday by Taylor Parker. Parker finished the game for Missouri and took the loss to fall to 1-2 this season. The reliever threw four innings and allowed the game-winning run off three hits and one walk.
The Sooners managed to squeeze out the victory despite being out hit 5-4 in the game. Ryan Rohlinger posted two of the Sooners’ four hits in the contest. Missouri stranded 12 runners on base in the defeat.
After struggling in three prior extra-inning games this season (Northwestern State, Texas A&M and Texas), OU finally posted a run in extra innings to record its first win of the season in extra frames.
OU, who had suffered four consecutive losses in conference play (Kansas and a sweep to Texas), improves to 22-15 overall and 6-7 in Big 12 action while Missouri drops to 28-10 and 8-5. The second game of the series started a half hour after the first game and was scheduled for a 4:05 start with OU’s Steven Guerra throwing opposite MU’s Nathan Culp.