|W - Tezak (2-0)||2.2||0||0||0||3||1|
|L - Ladd (3-2)||1.0||4||3||3||0||1|
|S - Carley (1)||2.1||3||1||1||1||1|
|WVU - Johnson||4||2||4||1||1||0|
|OU - James||4||1||1||2||0||1|
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team surrendered nine straight runs as a four-run lead disappeared in a 9-5 loss to West Virginia in front of 1,211 at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Saturday afternoon. The Sooners dropped to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in the Big 12, while the Mountaineers improved to 19-15 and 4-7.
Junior catcher Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas) blasted a two-run home run in the first inning for his fifth of the season and second in as many games. Sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) followed with a solo shot to left field to stake OU to an early 3-0 lead. It marked the second time this season that the Sooners have hit back-to-back home runs.
In the second, freshman designated hitter Niko Buentello (Lewisville, Texas) led off with a base hit up the middle and came around on a base hit by sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) to left field that pushed the OU lead to 4-0.
Sophomore left-hander Jacob Evans (Broken Arrow, Okla.) cruised through the first four innings for Oklahoma as he struck out four and stranded all four runners to reach base. He ran into trouble in the fifth when West Virginia loaded the bases with two outs on three consecutive infield singles, but finished the frame unscathed.
The Mountaineers offense then hit high gear in the sixth beginning with a three-run home run to left by catcher Cameron O’Brien that cut the lead to 4-3. West Virginia went to work on the Sooner bullpen for three more runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and two in the ninth.
The game was tied in the seventh when left fielder Jacob Rice found a couple holes up the middle on a groundball base hit that grazed off the glove of the OU pitcher and second baseman. The Mountaineers promptly took the lead on a base hit through the left side by right fielder Brad Johnson and pushed the lead to 6-4 on a pinch-hit double off the base of the 411’ mark in center by Jackson Cramer.
West Virginia added a solo home run by third baseman Michael Constantini in the seventh inning.
Having given up nine unanswered and trailing 9-4, Oklahoma staged a brief rally in the bottom of the ninth. Freshman first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) hit a lead-off double to right field and Buentello’s third single of the day put runners on the corners with no outs. O’Brien came in on a sacrifice-fly by sophomore pinch-hitter Kolbey Carpenter (Waco, Texas), but that was all the Sooners could push across.
Evans pitched a career-high 5.2 innings in a no-decision as he scattered 11 hits and allowed three runs, while striking out four and not surrendering a walk. Senior right-hander Kindle Ladd (McKinney, Texas) dropped to 3-2 with the loss. He was hit for three runs on four hits in one inning with one out.
Right-hander Corey Walter lasted four innings in the start for West Virginia. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk with one strikeout. Fellow right-handers Ryan Tezak (2-0) took the win in 2.2 innings of work and Sean Carley recorded the save in 2.1 innings.
Johnson finished the day 4-for-4, all singles, with two runs, one RBI and one walk. Center fielder Bobby Boyd went 4-for-5 with one run scored and Rice went 3-for-4 with a run and a RBI at the dish.
For the Sooners, Buentello was 3-for-4 with a run, while Aikin went 2-for-3 with two walks, a run and a RBI.
Oklahoma returns to action Tuesday, April 22 at 6:00 pm at home against UT Arlington. Admission to the game is free.