NORMAN – The No. 15 University of Oklahoma baseball team lost to No. 2 Texas Tech, 9-4, in front of 1,457 at L. Dale Mitchell Park to even the Big 12 series on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners dropped to 24-6 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12, while the Red Raiders improved to 25-5 and 4-1. Sunday’s rubber-match has been moved up to 11 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather.
Oklahoma committed a season-high five errors as six of nine runs scored by Tech were unearned against Sooner pitchers.
“We can’t beat anybody if we give them that many scoring opportunities,” opened head coach Pete Hughes. “It says five errors up there [on the scoreboard]; that could’ve been six or seven. That’s just not who we are. I’ve never seen that. We had four in one inning. Then they tack on another two or three [runs]. It’s just tough to keep up with those scoring opportunities across the board.”
The OU bats had just four hits against lefty Steven Gingery through six innings of work before getting the offense going against the Red Raider bullpen. The Sooners loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh and got their first run on a bases-loaded walk, but settles for just one more on a 4-6-3 double play.
“We loaded up with no outs two innings in a row. It’s a 4-2 game and we get a tight call down there to almost end the inning then, boom, it’s 6-2. I’m proud of the way our guys came back and you can talk about opportunities, but with that many errors you don't deserve to beat anybody. Our guys are going to be the first ones to say that. I mean [Gingery] struck us out 10 times. That’s tough to beat through six innings of work. I’m going to take a positive out of our guys never quitting and getting us back in the game twice but it didn't happen today.”
Texas Tech got both runs back in the next half inning. After two quick outs, an error at second extended the inning. Shortstop Orlando Garcia then singled and center fielder Cody Farhat delivered both runners to the plate with a double down the left field line.
The Sooners would put runs on the board in each of the last three innings as senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) launched a leadoff-home run to left in the eighth. Redshirt-sophomore Quin Walbergh (Edmond, Okla.) then lined a leadoff-, pinch-hit double in the ninth and scored on a base hit up the middle by senior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) to put the game at its final score.
Gingery (6-0) was dominant in six innings of scoreless-baseball. He struck out 10, walked just one and allowed four hits. Junior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) went three innings in the start for OU. He allowed two unearned runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
Farhat led all hitters with a 4-for-5 day with three RBI. The Red Raiders totaled 14 hits to the Sooners’ eight and four players posted a multi-hit game. Martinez and sophomore first baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) each went 2-for-4 for Oklahoma.
The Sooners turn to freshman right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) on the bump Sunday.