OKLAHOMA CITY – The No. 23 and three-seed University of Oklahoma baseball team lost, 8-4, to six-seed Texas in its Big 12 Championship opener in front of 4,720 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Wednesday night. The Sooners (34-21) will face No. 6 and two-seed TCU in an elimination game tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
The Longhorns (35-20) jumped on OU with a three-run first, including a two-run home run by first baseman Kacy Clemens. Four baserunners reached in the inning for Texas; all with two down. Clemens went yard again in the third after a leadoff-walk to push the UT lead to 5-0.
Oklahoma was held without a hit through the first three innings before senior first baseman Austin O'Brien (Owasso, Okla.) chopped a single over short to score senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.), who walked and advanced on a wild pitch, with the first Sooner run of the night. Sophomore second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) and senior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) followed with two-out singles, but O'Brien was thrown out trying to score from second to end the inning.
In the fifth, OU tacked on two more runs to cut the Texas lead to 5-3. Sophomore left fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) drew a one-out walk and sophomore right fielder Domenic DeRenzo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) doubled to the base of the wall in right-center to put two in scoring position. Martinez walked ab sophomore center fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) delivered two runs to the plate to chase UT lefty starter Nick Kennedy. Right-hander Chase Shugart came out of the bullpen and got two outs on three pitches to strand two runners in scoring position.
The Longhorns got a run back in the sixth. Martinez then trimmed the deficit back to two with a two-run, solo shot to deep left in the bottom of the seventh for his seventh home run of the season. Texas used two hits, three walks and a Sooner error to plate a pair of insurance run in the top of the ninth.
Shugart (3-2) earned the win for the Longhorns after coming on in the fifth. He went 2.2 innings of two-hit ball, allowing just one run. Sooner starter Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) took the loss (4-4) after throwing 2.1 innings of four-hit, five-run ball.
The Sooners turn to sophomore right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) in Thursday's elimination game against TCU. Oklahoma took two of three from the Horned Frogs in Norman two weekends ago on a pair of walk-off victories.