NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma baseball team defeated Grambling State, 10-2, at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Wednesday afternoon. The Sooners, who picked up a third consecutive win, moved to 4-1 overall, while the Tigers dropped to 2-3.
“We had good energy, we stayed focused, and didn’t scoreboard watch,” opened head coach Pete Hughes. “We just have to hold ourselves to a higher standard where we can play clean baseball. Everything is driven towards getting Big 12-ready.”
Oklahoma put crooked numbers up on the board four times and as early as the first inning with a pair of runs. Redshirt-freshman left fielder Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas) drew a leadoff-walk in the bottom of the first and sophomore third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) followed with a single up the middle to set the table. Sophomore center fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) then singles home Murray, who went first-to-third on the Ware single, for the first run of the game. OU would add a run in the inning on a sacrifice-fly by senior second baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.).
The Tigers tied the game at 2-2 immediately in the top of the second as catcher Johan Mojica hit a leadoff-double to left-center and designated hitter Rafael Ramirez put a two-run home run over the wall in right.
In support of sophomore right-hander Ryan Madden (Westminster, Colo.), the Sooners added three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. Madden (1-0) got the win in just 4.2 innings of work with a predetermined pitch count heading into the day. He finished with 72 total pitches and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
“I thought Ryan was good,” Hughes said of the OU starter. “When he lands his secondary stuff a little more, he is even better, but that is who he is. He gives you a chance to win because of his competitive spirit and his ability to throw a strike with a fastball. He lets up a two-run homer and boom, he is right back in the zone. Nothing rattles the kid, and when you have that kind of competitive spirit you will always have a chance.”
Senior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) was issued a leadoff-walk and Flansburg hit a ground-rule double to straight away center that put two runners in scoring position with no outs in the fourth. Grambling’s lefty starter Jonathan Reid (0-1), who had minimized the damage in the first with a sac-fly and a double play, got two quick outs before the Sooners were able to push across a run. Redshirt-sophomore right fielder Quin Walbergh (Edmond, Okla.) put OU back in front with a two-run triple ripped off the left field wall. He would end up scoring a batter later on an error by the Tigers’ third baseman to push the Sooner lead to 5-2.
The game was broken open in the fifth when Oklahoma plated five runs on three hits to two Grambling errors. The Sooners batted around in the inning and got big hits from Ware and O’Brien. Ware, who finished the day 2-for-5, drove in two with his second base hit to center and O’Brien tripled to right-center to drive him in.
Reid surrendered five runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts for Grambling. Mojica finished the day 2-for-2.
The Sooners outhit the Tigers, 11-4, as three players recorded a multi-hit game.
Oklahoma hosts the 19 Ways Invitational at home this weekend when Villanova, Northern Illinois and Boston College come to town. The Sooners’ first game is Friday at 3 p.m. Each day’s ticket is good for the entire two- or three-game session.