NORMAN – Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) tossed a career-high eight innings to leads the University of Oklahoma baseball team to a series-opening, 4-2 win over Baylor at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners improved to 18-10 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12, while the Bears dropped to 13-10 and 1-3.
Irvin (5-0) totaled 98 pitches, 66 for strikes, as he faced the minimum through five and did not allow a hit until there were two down in the sixth. He gave up two runs on two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Oklahoma tallied a single run on four occasions beginning in the bottom of the first. Junior right fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) led off with a single up the middle, was sacrificed into scoring position and came home on a single to left-center by redshirt-sophomore center fielder Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas).
The Sooners added a run in the third and the fourth before Baylor got its first hit of the night off Irvin to produce a run in the top of the sixth. A leadoff-walk came around to score on a two-out double by left fielder Nick Loftin. OU got the run back in the bottom half as junior left fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.) drew a leadoff-walk, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Harris single to center.
The Bears got back to within two in the eighth. Center fielder Cole Haring led off with a double to left and went to third on a strikeout-wild pitch that helped extend the inning as he would soon score on a sacrifice-fly to right.
Irvin got a called strike three to the last batter he faced to end the eighth before handing the ball off to the bullpen for the ninth. Playing the match-ups, Johnson went to his second reliever of the night, junior RHP Austin Hansen (Lenexa, Kan.) after a leadoff-HBP. He got two strikeouts around a pair of singles that loaded the bases. Sophomore lefty Braidyn Fink (Moore, Okla.) then took the hill and got a strikeout on three pitches to end the game and earn his first save of the season.
Murray went 2-for-3 with a double, while Harris added a 2-for-4 night. Freshman designated hitter Tyler Hardman (Corona, Calif.) was 2-for-3.
Game two of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday night. Senior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) gets the ball for Oklahoma.