WACO, Texas – The No. 10 University of Oklahoma baseball team opened its Big 12 schedule with an 11-3 win over Baylor at Baylor Ballpark on Friday night. The Sooners improved to 22-4 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Bears dropped to 17-5 and 1-3.
Oklahoma played from behind after the first inning and had just two hits through five, but took the lead in the sixth on four runs all scored off of a pair of home runs. Sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) led off the inning with a solo shot snuck inside the right field foul pole. A dropped fly ball and a one-out walk put two on for sophomore right fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.), who blasted a three-run shot over the wall in right to give OU a 5-3 lead.
The Sooners added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on two hits and three walks. A bases-loaded infield-single in the hole at short by senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) chased home the first run and Brewster added a walk to force in a run and collect his fourth RBI of the night and push the Oklahoma lead to 7-3.
In the bottom half of the seventh, the Bears got the potential tying run to the plate with nobody out after three consecutive singles loaded the bases. Senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas), who had entered an inning earlier, got a pop up to second on the right field line and induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep OU in front by four.
Four Sooner pitchers combined to throw six innings of one-run relief. Redshirt-junior lefty Austin Kerns (Owasso, Okla.) got the win to move to 2-2 on the season. He got the final two outs of the fifth inning in his 0.2 innings of work with one hit and one walk against him.
Olson finished the game with three-shutout innings pitched. He surrendered five hits, but struck out three without a walk. Freshman lefty Braidyn Fink (Moore, Okla.) pitched the ninth and erased a leadoff-walk on a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The game got off to a rocky start for Oklahoma. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Grove (Moore, Okla.) walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the first. A hit-by-pitch drove in the first and a single off the bat of first baseman Aaron Dodson drove in the second. Grove struck out a pair in the frame and got a groundball to short to limit the damage. He worked a 1-2-3 second and got into trouble again in the third with two walks and a single to load the bases, but escaped the jam with a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.
For Baylor, right-hander Nick Lewis (3-2) took the loss in 5.1 innings. He surrendered just two hits through the first two innings before serving up a pair of home runs in the sixth. Overall, Lewis allowed five runs, three earned, on four hits and six walks with five strikeouts.
The Sooners and Bears return to the field for a 3:05 p.m. first pitch on Saturday afternoon. Junior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) is anticipated to start for Oklahoma.