LUBBOCK, Texas -- The No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners extended their winning streak to eight games (ties season high) with a 5-2 win over Texas Tech on Friday at Dan Law Field.
OU outhit Texas Tech 11-8 and Daniel McCutchen won his second straight start.
OU has won five straight games over Texas Tech and the win also improved its overall record to 30-10 overall and 9-4 in the Big 12, while the Red Raiders dropped to 26-15-1 and 6-8-1 in conference play.
"Its nice to continue the winning streak to eight games but to win a Friday night game in the Big 12 is more important," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "We were not doing that earlier in the season and now we are in a position to win the series on Saturday and that is always your objective going into a weekend."
The last time the Sooners reached the 30-win plateau this early in the year was during the 1997 season, the last time they won the Big 12 Tournament. The 1995 team, the defending national champions, also went 30-10 in its first 40 games (1994 went 29-11). In addition, the last team in program history to win its 30th game earlier then the 2006 Sooners is the 1985 team. That squad earned its 30th victory after the 36th game of the season and finished 55-14 (second most wins in program history).
The Sooners jumped on top early and posted a 2-1 lead after the first frame. Ryan Rohlinger drove in Chuckie Caufield on a sacrifice fly to right field and Kevin Smith singled in Aaron Reza to begin the scoring.
Despite allowing the Red Raiders to score in the first inning, McCutchen (6-5) earned the victory after going four consecutive starts with an 0-3 record. McCutchen struck out five batters and scattered eight hits and four walks throughout eight innings.
In the fifth inning, the Sooners posted two more runs thanks to a Texas Tech passed ball (scoring Kody Kaiser) and a RBI single by Freddy Rodriguez (2-for-4).
Kevin Smith fueled the OU offense with two hits and two RBI. Smith, who leads the team with 46 RBI, collected his 15th-multiple RBI game of the season on Friday, also a team best.
For the Red Raiders, Miles Morgan fell to 5-5 after allowing four runs (three earned) off seven hits and two walks. Offensively, James Leverton went 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Texas Tech kept the game close with a run in the seventh inning to make it 5-2. In the ninth, the first two Red Raiders reached base and chased McCutchen out of the game. Will Savage took over and retired three straight to earn his eighth save of 2006. The Sooners' closer is 3-0 with three saves in his last eight outings.
"There are still some things that we can get better in but I like our confidence and competitiveness," added Golloway. "They are playing with a lot of passion right now and I think that is because they are starting to feel the momentum and visualize our goals and dreams down the road."
The series resumes on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with OU's Steven Guerra (8-1, 2.69 ERA) expected to start opposite Texas Tech's Colt Hynes (4-1, 2.27 ERA). The game can be heard live on KOKC 1520 AM and will also be televised by Cox Sports in Lubbock with Cox channel 7 in OKC carrying the game.
BIG 12 STANDINGS
Below is a look at the Big 12 standings after action on Friday, April 21:
NEW MEXICO ADDED TO 2006 SCHEDULE
OU announced Thursday that it will host New Mexico on Monday, April 24 in Norman. First pitch at L. Dale Mitchell Park is scheduled for 3 p.m. The extra game was added to make up for the contest lost on Sunday, March 19 against Arizona State. The finale of that series was cancelled because of rain in Tempe, Ariz. Admission to Monday’s game is free and concession stands will be open.