WACO, Texas – Junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) drilled a three-run home run in the top of the second inning that stood up in a 3-0 shutout for the No. 10 University of Oklahoma baseball team over No. 14 Baylor at Baylor Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners clinched their first league series of the season and moved to 23-5 overall and 2-1 in league games, while the Bears fell to 18-6 and 2-4.
Baylor threatened first with the bases loaded on two walks, a hit and only one out. OU freshman right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) got out of the jam with a pop up on the infield and his second strikeout of the inning.
The Sooners got their bats going immediately as sophomore first baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) lined a base hit to right to lead off the inning. Sophomore right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) then sent a double to the track in center to put two runners in scoring position. BU righty Cody Bradford got the next two Sooners, but Mendenhall took him deep to left on the first pitch of his at-bat for his fourth home run of the year.
Wiles (4-1) earned the win despite pitching just 4.1 innings as he entered the day on a pitch count due to starting and throwing three innings at Oklahoma State on Tuesday. He held the Bears scoreless, surrendered five hits and three walks and struck out five.
Baylor had at least one runner reach in all nine innings, including four leadoff base runners. The bears totaled 10 men left on base throughout the day.
Sophomore right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) and senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless-relief. Berry struck out three and walked three with one hit against him in two innings.
Olson entered with two on and one out in the seventh. On his first pitch, he rolled an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Olson, who locked down his sixth save of the season, got two more double plays, including the Sooners’ second game-ending double play of the weekend.
Ware and freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) each posted two-hit games for Oklahoma. Baylor catcher Shea Langaliers went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Lefty Chad Bradford (3-2) took the loss in six innings of work. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The Sooners are off in the midweek and return to action for their Big 12 home opener against Texas Tech on Friday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m.