WICHITA, Kan. -- Oklahoma took to the road on Tuesday at Wichita State and continued to struggle away from its home field, as the Sooners suffered a 7-5 loss to the Shockers.
The Sooners are now 3-12 on the road this season and their overall mark falls to 22-18, while the Shockers improve to 35-13.
Eric Thornton hit a three-run homer, his third of the season, in the top of the fourth inning to tie the ball game at four runs apiece, but Wichita State came back in the bottom of the sixth with a bomb by Joe Muich, with Damon Sublett on base. Muich’s two RBI proved to be the difference as OU’s rally in the ninth came up short.
In the ninth, the Sooners cut the lead to two on Russell Raley’s RBI double to center field and OU brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of Kody Kaiser. With Raley on third and Ryan Rohlinger on first base, after a walk, Kaiser got called out on strikes to end the ball game.
OU starter Tyler Gooch, making his first start of the season, lasted five innings in which he allowed four runs and struck out four. Gooch left the game with the score tied and P.J. Sandoval (3-2) came in out of relief, only to surrender the homer to Guich.
Wichita State took the first lead of the game, in the bottom of the second frame, on a RBI single by Matt Brown. The Sooners quickly countered in their next at-bat with Rohlinger’s RBI single to center field that plated Raley, who walked earlier in the third inning.
With a 6-4 lead, the Shockers loaded the bases in the seventh inning with nobody out, but only managed to get one run as Will Savage came out of the bullpen to get a force out at home and two straight strikeouts. Savage would retire the side in order in the WSU eighth, but OU could not catch up to the Shockers. Wichita state held a 12-9 advantage in the hit column and only stranded six runners, opposite OU’s eight left on base.
Freddy Rodriguez finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance that included two runs scored.
For Wichita State, the versatile Damon Sublett led the way with three hits, two RBI and the save (7).
Kohl Nanney recorded the win for Wichita State to improve to 2-0 on the season. Nanney kept the Sooners hitless in 2.2 innings, while he struck out three.
Wichita State will host No. 6 Nebraska on Wednesday before the Huskers travel to Norman to start a three game series, on Thursday, that will be nationally televised by the ESPN Family.
The Sooners will look to end a three-game skid with series opener against Nebraska that will be broadcast live on ESPN with a 6:06 p.m. first pitch. That game will be followed by Friday’s 6:06 p.m. start and Saturday’s game at 1:06 p.m., both games will be televised by ESPNU (DirecTV channel 609).