AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 9 University of Oklahoma baseball team picked up a 2-1 win over Texas at UFCU Disch-Falk Field to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 27-8 overall and 5-4 in the Big 12, while the Longhorns fell to 22-13 and 6-6.
Senior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) put Oklahoma in front in the top of the seventh with a RBI-double. Hollas fouled off four straight pitches in a 1-2 count before ultimately sending a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner on the 12th pitch of the at-bat. Junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) reached as the leadoff hitter on a ball that hit him in the helmet. He was sacrificed to second and scored the go-ahead run.
Sophomore right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) pitched the final 3.1 innings for Oklahoma. He entered with two on and two out in the sixth. A passed ball on a swinging strike moved both into scoring position before he recorded his first strikeout of the day to keep the game tied 1-1.
Berry (1-0) totaled five strikeouts and gave up just one hit and one walk. He worked around a two-out double in the seventh, struck out two in a three-up, three-down eighth and stranded the tying run in the ninth with his fifth strikeout.
The Sooners had a chance to get on the board first with a two out rally in the first inning. Senior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) doubled and sophomore left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) walked before Texas righty Kyle Johnston got out of the inning with a force out.
Oklahoma soon found itself playing from behind as the Longhorns scored in the first inning for the third time in the series. Designated hitter Kody Clemens hit a first-pitch single up the middle to lead off the inning. A bunt-single and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. First baseman Kacy Clemens then plate his younger brother with a fly ball to center. OU sophomore right-hander Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) was able to damage control the inning and got a groundball to second and a strikeout to leave two runners in scoring position.
The Sooners got a leadoff-walk to senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) in the top of the second. He was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Martinez would ty to score on a groundball topped to third, but was thrown out at the plate.
Oklahoma would get the game-tying run in the sixth. Walker reached on a one-out walk and scored from second on a Martinez single to right-center.
Martinez and sophomore designated hitter Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) each went 2-for-3 for the Sooners.
Wiles went 4.2 innings in the start without factoring into the decision. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Freshman lefty Braidyn Fink (Moore, Okla.) pitched a scoreless-inning of middle relief with a strikeout.
Johnston lasted six innings for Texas with one run against him on three hits and five walks with four strikeouts. Right-hander Chase Shugart (1-2) took the loss in one inning with one run scored on one hit, one walk and one strikeout.
Oklahoma is back in action on Tuesday, April 11 at intrastate rival Oral Roberts for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.