DECATUR, Ga. – The No. 12 University of Oklahoma baseball team bounced back with a 5-4 win over Georgia State at the GSU Baseball Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 18-3, while the Panthers dropped to 9-8.
Freshman right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) made his first career start and struck out seven over six-scoreless frames. He scattered three hits and walked just one. The only runner to reach scoring position against Wiles (3-0) came in the bottom of the first when a one-out baserunner reached on a walk, moved up on a wild pitch and then to third on a groundout to the right side.
In the bottom of the seventh, Georgia State trimmed a three-run OU lead to one against the Sooner bullpen. Oklahoma answered in the top of the eighth by capitalizing of a pair of free bases to push its lead to 5-2. A leadoff-error and a walk set the table. Freshman catcher Brady Lindsly (Keller, Texas) then sacrificed both into scoring position. Senior Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) was called on to pinch-hit with two down and delivered a two-run double to right-center on a 0-2 pitch.
The Panthers continued to chip away against OU relievers an inning later. Two walks set the table for a one-out single through the left side by catcher Nick Gatewood. An infield-single then loaded the bases and a walk forced in a run to narrow the Sooners’ advantage to 5-4.
Senior right-handed pitcher JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas), who allowed two inherited runners to score, was able to finish the inning with a strikeout and a groundball to short that left the bases loaded. Olson stayed on for the ninth and spun three-up, three-down frame to earn his fifth save of the season.
The Sooners improved to 3-0 in one-run games despite being outhit, 6-5. Senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) led the OU lineup with a 2-for-4 performance in the leadoff spot. Hollas drove in the first run of the game in the third inning with a double past first to score junior first baseman Lorin Archibald (Renton, Wash.). Junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) then brought Hollas home on a single up the middle.
Lindsly hit a leadoff-single through the right side in the fourth to extend his career-long hit-streak to nine games. He moved into scoring position when redshirt-sophomore right fielder Quin Walbergh (Edmond, Okla.) was hit by a pitch and moved to shirt on a sacrifice by Archibald. Freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) then delivered Lindsly to the plate on a sacrifice-fly to shallow right.
Georgia State right-handed starter Bryan White (0-2) pitched 4.2 innings in the loss. He struck out four and surrendered three runs on three hits and four walks.
The Sooners are off on Thursday, but remain in the Atlanta area for a weekend series beginning Friday, March 17 at 5 p.m. CT against Kennesaw State.