NORMAN, Okla. -- Ryan Rohlinger, Kody Kaiser, Jackson Williams and Eric Thornton all hit home runs and the Sooners’ bullpen shut down UT-Arlington in an 11-6 victory on Tuesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. OU improved to 21-15 with the win while the Mavericks fell to 21-20 on the season.
After five innings, the Sooners and Mavericks were tied at six runs apiece, but OU used solo home runs by Rohlinger and Kaiser to produce a three-run sixth inning to take the lead for good.
OU added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth frames to put away the Mavericks and improve to 17-3 when playing at L. Dale Mitchell Park in 2005.
OU’s offense rebounded after scoring just seven runs against Texas in three games last weekend, to score 11 runs on 18 hits, including a season-high four homers. Will Savage, John Brownell and Tyler Gooch combined to pitch six shutout innings, out of the OU bullpen, to nail down the win and snap the Sooners’ three-game losing streak.
(LHP) Kevin Duke started the contest for OU but did not last past the third inning as he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk. Duke also struck out three Mavericks in his three innings of work. Will Savage pitched the majority of the game, lasting four innings and allowing three hits, while he struck out one for his fourth win of the season.
UT-Arlington came right out of the gates to tag Duke for two runs in the first inning and OU responded with two of its own in the second frame on Thornton’s two-run dinger (2).
In the top of the third inning, UTA took scored four runs on four hits to take its second lead of the game, 6-2. That lead would only last until the Sooners’ next at-bat. After Rohlinger led off the frame with a walk, he advanced to second with one out on Kaiser’s single to center field and then scored on Thornton’s single to right field. Russell Raley brought Kaiser home on a sacrifice fly and then Williams blasted a two-run job (his second of the season) over the left-center field fence to score Thornton and tie the game up at six.
Then Savage came out of the pen to hold the Mavericks’ offense at bay for four innings before giving the ball up to Brownell in the eighth and Gooch in the ninth.
UTA starter Jeremiah Haar was chased out of the third inning by the Sooners and was knocked around for six earned runs on eight hits and two walks in 2.2 innings tossed. Dillon Gee, who pitched a four-hit shutout against Baylor last week, took the loss for the Mavericks to fall to 4-4. Gee surrendered three runs on five hits in a 3 1/3 innings, while walking one and striking out two.
OU broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth, against Gee, with two homers by Rohlinger and Kaiser, marking their third and seventh long balls on the season, respectively.
The Sooners’ offense continued to roll anchored by the solid work in their bullpen, who struck out three and allowed four hits in six innings, with an RBI triple by Kaiser that plated Kevin Smith in the seventh inning.
The lead was padded one last time as Scott Rooker scored Raley in the bottom of the eighth on a single to right field.
Williams finished the game with a 4-for-4 performance that included two RBI and Kaiser also collected four hits, in five at-bats, and two RBI to help lead the Sooners.
Tuesday’s offensive outburst marked the ninth time this season that OU recorded 15 or more hits in a contest and the 12th time it scored 10 or mores runs.
OU will return to action with a key Big 12 series this weekend against Missouri in Columbia starting on Friday. Missouri, currently tied for second place in the Big 12 standings at 8-4, is coming off conference series against Oklahoma State in which it was swept in three games. OU is 5-7 in conference action this season and sits in seventh place, just 0.12 percentage points behind Texas Tech (6-8).