LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 14 University of Oklahoma baseball team suffered a 5-4 loss in 10 innings to No. 4 Texas Tech in front of 3,634 at Rip Griffin Park on a walk-off balk Friday afternoon. The Sooners fell to 26-14 overall and 9-4 in the Big 12, while the Red Raiders improved to 31-8 and 9-4.
Tech rallied from a run down in the ninth to force extras and again rallied from a run down in the 10th. Freshman Cade Cavalli (Bixby, Okla.) moved from first base to the mound for the 10th after junior right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) was pulled after straining his shoulder during mid-inning warm-ups.
Cavalli, pitching for the first time since a start against Kennesaw State (3/18), gave up a one-out single up the middle to right fielder Brian Klein. A walk to third baseman Josh Jung and a double steal put two runners in scoring position. Left fielder Grant Little slowly grounded to short, which allowed the tying run to score as he was put out at first. Jung then scored the game-winning run from third on a balk; the first issued by an OU pitcher this season.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) took a no-decision in an eight-inning start. He left with a lead and did not get the win for the second week in a row. Irvin started the ninth and was lifted after a leadoff-error on his 115th pitch of the game. He allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits. Irvin struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
The Sooners used four relief pitchers to get through the ninth inning, but Texas Tech tied the game without the benefit of a hit. Three walks from the bullpen pushed across the tying run. Berry was able to limit the damage as junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) started a 5-4-3 double play behind him to send the game to extras.
In the top of the 10th, Oklahoma started a two-out rally with a single punched through the right side by freshman designated hitter Tyler Hardman (Corona, Calif.). Junior Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.) pinch ran and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After an intentional-walk, sophomore shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) brought in Brewster with a double to left, which put OU in front 4-3.
Each team used six pitchers in the game. Ty Harpenau (4-1) got the win for Texas Tech, despite surrendering the go-ahead run to the Sooners in the top of the 10th. Cavalli (2-2) took the loss for OU. He was also 1-for-5 at the plate with a run.
In the start, Davis Martin was knocked out after the fourth inning. He scattered seven hits and three walks; yielding just two runs. For the game, Oklahoma left 12 runners on base and outhit the Red Raiders, 12-6, but twice left the bases loaded against Martin in the first and fourth.
The Sooners did not get the leadoff man to reach until junior left fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) drew a walk in the sixth with the score tied, 2-2. Zaragoza sacrificed him to second and junior right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) singled to center; plating Harris ahead of the throw at the plate.
Walker was 3-for-5 on the day with a double. Zaragoza went 2-for-4 and senior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) was 2-for-5. Sophomore catcher Brady Lindsly (Keller, Texas) chipped in with his first home run of the season.
Klein tallied the only two-hit game for Texas Tech at 2-for-5. Designated hitter Zach Rheames hit a solo home run.
Oklahoma turns to senior RHP Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) in game two at 2 p.m. Saturday.