KENNESAW, Ga. – The No. 12 University of Oklahoma baseball team picked up a series sweep on the road with an 11-3 win over Kennesaw State at Stillwell Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners, who have won four in a row, improved to 21-3 on the season, while the Owls dropped to 8-11.
For the first time in the series, Oklahoma scored first and never trailed. Sophomore designated hitter Domenic DeRenzo (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who hit eight home runs prior to Tommy John surgery in 2016, hit a two-run home run in the second for his first of the season.
Two innings later, sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) went the other way with a leadoff-single through the left side to start the frame. He was then sacrificed to second, stole third and scored on a RBI-single to left-center by senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.).
Junior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) started for Oklahoma and lasted 6.1 innings. He surrendered three runs, two of which came on back-to-back home runs to start the bottom of the fourth. Perez (4-0) totaled six strikeouts and walked just two with nine hits against him.
The Sooners answered the KSU home runs, hit by first baseman Taylor Allum and designated hitter Griffin Helms, with a three-spot on the board in the fifth. Freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) got the rally started with a one-out single. Oklahoma then loaded the bases with a pair of free passes and got a run in on a RBI-groundout off the bat of Walker. Two more runs came in on a dropped fly ball in front with two down to push the OU lead to 6-2.
The two sides traded a run in the sixth as the game went to the ninth with the Sooners leading 7-3. Oklahoma then sent 11 men to the plate in the ninth; scoring seven runs on seven singles and an error. Senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) singled twice in the inning, including a leadoff-single and a RBI-single that cleared the bases after being misplayed by the center fielder. Hollas successfully reached base in all six plate appearances with three hits and three walks.
DeRenzo added a 2-for-4 day with three walks and three RBI as he posted a RBI-single through the left side in the ninth. Nine different players recorded a hit for OU.
Kennesaw State lefty Mason Ward (1-1) went 5.1 innings in the start. He gave up seven runs, four earned, on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. The Owls were outhitting the Sooners, 9-5, heading to the ninth inning.
Oklahoma heads home with a 4-1 record on its road swing through Georgia, but hits the road immediately. The Sooners visit Oklahoma State for a non-conference Bedlam match-up on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.