Oklahoma Sweeps Doubleheader Against SE Missouri State
Not originally scheduled to play two on their home opener, the Oklahoma Sooners baseball team took advantage of the good weather on Saturday to sweep a doubleheader against Southeast Missouri State, 7-1 and 11-5, at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Forced to play two games because of forecasted bad weather on Sunday and Monday, the Sooners coasted to victory in game one riding a second-straight standout pitching performance by junior David Purcey and let an explosive offense and its steady relief staff get it out of an early jam in the second game. The pair of wins improved OU’s record to 4-1 while SEMO opens its season at 0-2.
The Sooner offense nearly accomplished their season goal to score at least one run an inning as OU plated a run in all but four of their innings throughout both games. All but one of the Oklahoma starting nine had at least one hit in each game as the Sooners recorded a pair of 12 hit efforts.
"David really set the tone for us," said Oklahoma head coach Larry Cochell about his pitcher’s game one effort. "He was able to give us another outstanding pitching performance and allow our offense to score enough runs for the victory."
Purcey (2-0) turned in another dominating pitching performance in the day’s first game. Coming off his seven inning, one-hit outing against nationally-ranked Arizona State on Sunday, the lefthander gave up only one run on three hits through seven frames against SEMO. He kept his scoreless inning streak alive through the first two frames before giving up a lone run in the third.
The Indians took advantage of a leadoff double to score their only run of the game. Facing a bases loaded, no-outs situation in the third inning, Purcey worked his way out of trouble to prevent any further damage. He gave up a sacrifice fly to plate the run and then got the next two outs consecutively on a strikeout, one of his six in the game, and a groundout.
Sophomore second baseman Russell Raley continued to swing a hot bat for Oklahoma. Raley reached base in his first four at bats, including by hits in his first three. He doubled in the bottom of the first inning and scored on a RBI-single by junior first baseman Ole Sheldon (2-for-4) to score the Sooners’ first run of the game.
Raley and Sheldon also factored in on the team’s second run of the game in the third inning. With the game knotted at 1-1, the duo began the frame with back-to-back singles. Raley eventually crossed home plate on a double-play ball to break the tie and Sheldon raced home from third base on a wild pitch and slid in safely to put the Sooners up 3-1.
OU put single runs up on the scoreboard over the next four consecutive innings to seal the victory.
In game two, Oklahoma received two solid performances out of its bullpen to get them out of an offensive battle early in the game. Senior Mike Swindell (1-0) relieved starter Casey Brown in the second frame after Brown gave up four runs on eight hits.
After issuing a walk to the first batter he faced, Swindell sat down seven of the next eight batters he faced. The lone run credited to his pitching line occurred in the fifth inning when the Indians capitalized on back-to-back doubles, two of their only three hits off the righthander.
Norman native Daniel McCutchen entered the game to begin the sixth inning and put on a strikeout clinic in his first appearance in a Sooner uniform. The junior struck out seven batters in his four innings of work to earn the save. He surrendered two hits in his first inning before settling in to give up only one more the rest of the way.
"I was really pleased by the pitching performance of Mike Swindell and Daniel McCutchen today," commented Cochell on his relief staff’s game two outing. "Offensively, I thought we did some things well by executing the bunt and getting some timely hits, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do."
The two teams battled back and forth to a 4-4 tie through the first two frames before junior shortstop Brenan Herrera (1-for-3) launched his first career home run, a three-run shot, down the left field line to put the Sooners ahead for good.
Other offensive stars in the second game included junior centerfielder Jeff Scuderi who went 3-for-5 at the plate and scored three runs. Extending his season-opening hitting streak to five games was junior rightfielder Andrew McGuire with a 1-for-4 effort including two runs scored and a RBI. Junior Matt Bose added a 2-for-3 effort and drove in a pair of runs.
The two teams will attempt to conclude the three-game set tomorrow at 2 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Senior righty Mark Roberts (0-1) is scheduled to start for Oklahoma.