TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 21 Oklahoma baseball team improved to 18-5 on Saturday against No. 11 Arizona State at Packard Stadium with a convincing 15-8 victory.
The win snapped the Sooners’ six-game winless streak in Tempe and dropped ASU to 18-7. The last time OU defeated ASU on its home field was on March 14, 2003 in a 6-5 game when the Sun Devils were ranked No.1.
“I thought tonight’s game was a character builder for this club, coming back from a tough loss last night,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “The way we came out today and took the fight to them, really dictated the game early on. Our guys recognize by their play tonight, what kind of club we have and it also gives us a great opportunity to win an important series against a top 25 team tomorrow.”
The Sooners built a 9-1 lead after their at-bat in the sixth inning, but the Sun Devils rallied with three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to bring the game within two runs.
OU put the game out of reach with a pair of homers by Aaron Ivey (solo) and Joe Dunigan (three run) to help produce a five-run eighth inning. Both home runs were the first of 2006 and second of their careers. The last time Ivey hit a round tripper was on April 8, 2005 (vs. Kansas) and Dunigan’s last long ball came in the Sooners’ 2005 season opener versus Gonzaga on Feb. 12.
OU starter Steven Guerra improved to 7-0 with three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings and Chuckie Caufield led the offense with a 3-for-5 performance with three runs scored and a RBI. Caufield is riding a seven-game hitting streak (all-multiple hit games) and in that span he is hitting .552, slugging .862 with six doubles, three stolen bases, a home run and seven RBI.
In the first inning, OU struck first after taking advantage of a walk and hit batter when Kevin Smith connected for a RBI-single to plate Caufield. The scoring continued in the first inning on Russell Raley’s fourth hit of the series, good for a two-run double down the left-field line.
Caufield helped OU increase its cushion to four runs with a RBI single in the second inning and OU plated three more runs in the third frame thanks to three ASU errors.
A trio of doubles by Reza, Caufield and Rohlinger increased the Sooner lead to eight runs (9-1) before ASU tried to put together a rally for the second consecutive night.
Guerra was cruising with a two-hit, one-run performance before ASU plated three runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth inning to make things interesting. Every run in the inning came with two outs. Jimmy Rollins was the first Sooner out of the bullpen and he ended the sixth inning as ASU stranded two base runners.
ASU put three more runs on the board in the seventh inning as John Brownell came in to try and hold the Sun Devils at bay after back-to-back walks by Rollins.
OU out hit ASU 13-8 and both teams stranded seven runners. ASU was led by two-hit performances by Ike Davis and Seth Dhaenens (3 RBI).
The three-game set concludes on Sunday with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. (CT) and the game will see P.J. Sandoval (3-1, 4.35 ERA) throw for the Sooners.