FULLERTON, Calif. -- The University of Nevada scored six runs in the ninth inning to surge past Oklahoma, 14-10, at the Kia Baseball Bash in Fullerton, Calif., on Sunday.
With the loss, OU dropped to 8-4 on the season and 1-2 in the bash. Nevada upped its overall record to 8-4 and finished with a 2-1 record for the weekend.
OU jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the initial frame and added a run in the bottom of the third to go up 6-0. After falling behind early in each of the last four games, OU wasted no time to cross the plate with five runs in the first inning on four hits. Junior Chuckie Caufield led off the game with a walk and advanced to third when junior Russell Raley extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single up the middle. That hit advanced Caufield to third and a wild pitch to freshman Kody Kaiser put Raley on second before Kaiser produced a fielder’s choice to score the game’s first run. OU is 6-2 when scoring first this season.
The first inning continued as senior Eric Thornton singled to right field to plate Raley and that was followed by junior Ryan Rohlinger’s single that allowed Kaiser to cross the plate. The Sooners then turned to a little small ball as a perfectly-placed sacrifice bunt by junior Freddy Rodriguez squeezed home Thornton and advanced Rohlinger to third. Freshman Jackson Williams’s double to right center scored the inning’s final run. The five runs was the most OU has scored in a game’s first inning, the previous high was three scored in game two of the Eastern Illinois.
With a 5-0 lead, left hander Garrett Patterson made the start after missing his Friday’s scheduled appearance because of a long delay due to rain. Patterson did not miss a beat to start off the game as he surrendered just one hit while striking out three in the first three frames.
The Sooners’ lead expanded to six in the third inning with Rodriguez’s second RBI of the game that scored Rohlinger, who singled earlier in the inning for his fourth straight multi-hit game. Within that span, Rohlinger has collected ten hits and two RBI.
Patterson ran into some trouble with one out in the fourth inning and the bases loaded for Baker Krukow. OU’s hurler could not hold the Wolf Pack at bay as Krukow singled to bring in two runs and an error in right field helped clear the bases. Two batters later, the bases were once again loaded and Nevada too advantage of a couple walks and a beam ball by Patterson to score two more runs.
Patterson finished the day after scattering four hits and five earned runs over 3.1 innings pitched. Patterson did strike out four batters but also gave four free passes to the Wolf Pack.
Freshman Brad Burns came in relief, retiring three straight Nevada batters to start the fifth, including a strike out. He would retire five consecutive batters before allowing his first hit, a double by Carlos Madrid, but rebounded to strike out the next batter, his third of the game.
With Burns cruising, the OU offense created a two-run advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice by Raley that brought Dunigan home. After the Sooners pushed their lead to 7-5 in the sixth inning, Nevada claimed its first lead of the game with three runs off Burns in the seventh, 8-7.
Junior Will Savage would take the mound for two innings and silence the Wolf Pack offense and that allowed for an OU rally which included three runs in the eighth, to take a 10-8 lead. Two RBI came off of senior Eric Thornton’s bat, but the OU bullpen could not hold the lead as Nevada sealed the game with six runs in the final frame.
The Sooners return to Norman to host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, March 8, and Wednesday, March 9. Both games are slated for 3 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park.