NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooner baseball team opened the home portion of the 2006 schedule with a 13-4 victory over Western Illinois on Friday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
OU (3-1) handed the Leathernecks (2-1) their first loss of the season and was led by Daniel McCutchen’s seven strikeouts and Chuckie Caufield’s four RBI. McCutchen improved to 2-0 with the victory.
The OU offense continued its surge with 13 runs on 12 hits. The Sooners are averaging 11 runs per game and 13 hits in 2006.
“We really had clutch hitting and that was a good thing to see,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “When we got guys in scoring position, we got things going. Overall, I was pleased with our effort today.”
After Western Illinois tied things up in the third inning (1-1), the Sooners used six runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth to cruise to their third victory of the season.
Russell Raley's RBI single in the fourth inning brought home Kody Kaiser and put OU ahead for good. With plenty of run support, OU’s starter, McCutchen, settled down and allowed one run on four hits in five innings pitched.
Caufield finished Friday’s game with a 2-for-4 performance and Raley, Aaron Reza and Freddy Rodriguez each collected two hits and combined for five RBI.
The OU bullpen was also solid after a shaky outing last Sunday. Newcomers A.T. Cole and Jimmy Rollins threw two innings each and held the Leathernecks to two earned runs off of three hits. Cole did not allow a hit in his Sooner debut and struck out one batter opposite two walks.
WIU’s Tyler Johnson (0-1) was chased off the mound after pitching the first 3 2/3 innings. Johnson only allowed three earned runs, seven overall, off seven hits.
OU has now won four consecutive games over WIU and owns a 4-1 lead in the all-time series.
The Sooners resume action on Saturday against Western Illinois with game two of the three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park and OU’s Steven Guerra (1-0) es expected to throw opposite WIU's Bobby Mahon (1-0). The game will be broadcast live on KOKC (1520 AM) with Chuck Kelly (play-by-play) and DeWayne Vaughn (color analyst) calling the game. The series finale on Sunday is slated for a 1 p.m. start and can be heard via the internet on Yahoo.