NORMAN – The No. 13 University of Oklahoma baseball team erupted for 11 runs in the first inning en route to a 16-10 win over Buffalo at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Thursday night. The Sooners improved to 14-2 on the season, while the Bulls dropped to 4-6.
Oklahoma got its 11 first-inning runs on 11 hits and a walk as the first six batters of the frame reached by way of a hit. Sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) drove in the first run, while extending his hit-streak to 19 games. Senior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) followed and crushed a three-run home run over the 410-foot mark in right-center.
Through the first two innings, the Sooners led 15-1. Sophomore designated hitter Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) was 3-for-3 in that short span with three RBI, a double and a run scored.
In the middle innings, Buffalo, which held a brief 1-0 lead in the first, put crooked numbers on the board in the fourth, fifth and sixth. OU sophomore right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) was lifted after the fifth and the ball was handed to a trifecta of freshman pitchers. The Bulls, who entered the sixth down 15-5, loaded the bases with no outs against the Sooner bullpen and plated five runs on four hits.
Irvin (4-0) got the win in five innings. He allowed five runs, two of which were earned, on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.), who came on as the third reliever of the sixth, finished the game for the Sooners with four innings of three-hit ball and five strikeouts.
Oklahoma outhit Buffalo, 19-13, for the game. Junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) went 3-for-6 with three runs scored. O’Brien totaled four RBI on a 2-for-2 effort with three walks scored. Seven Sooners recorded multi-hit games.
Designated hitter Vinny Mallaro powered the UB offense with a 3-for-5, two-RBI night. Right-handed Alec Tuohy (3-1) lasted just 0.2 innings with 11 runs scored against him in the first on 10 hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
The Sooners and Bulls play a doubleheader Friday beginning at 3 p.m.