ORLANDO, Fla. – Redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray finished 2-for-4 with a home run, one double and four RBI as Oklahoma baseball defeated UCF, 7-3, to even the series Saturday inside John Euliano Park. OU improved to 32-19 overall, while UCF fell to 33-18.
Murray’s eighth home run of the season gave OU a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Brandon Zaragoza’s walk and a single by Steele Walker set up Murray’s deep shot over the wall in left center.
OU added a run in the fourth and picked up three more in the fifth to build a 7-0 advantage. Murray picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a one-out double down the left field line to score Zaragoza.
Brylie Ware followed with a RBI groundout and then Kyle Mendenhall’s eighth sacrifice fly of the year pushed OU’s lead to 7-0 in the fifth.
Murray finished 2-for-5 and matched his career high with four RBI. Murray has driven in four runs twice in the last five games and the redshirt sophomore is 4-for-10 in the series with five RBI.
Walker scored twice and was 2-for-5 to pick up his 23rd multi-hit game of the season. Mendenhall finished 2-of-3 with a run scored and a RBI. The senior is now tied for third all-time at OU with 13 sacrifice flies, eight of which have come this season.
The Knights answered in the bottom of the fifth, scratching two runs on a two-out double from Griffin Bernardo.
Senior right-hander Devon Perez earned the win in relief, pitching two shutout innings. Perez (5-3) allowed two hits and struck out two in his second appearance out of the bullpen in the series. Sophomore left-hander Levi Prater took the no-decision, tossing a career-high 4.2 innings. Prater allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out six.
OU’s bullpen held the Knights off the scoreboard until the ninth when a bases-loaded walk cut the Sooners’ lead to 7-3. Austin Hansen rolled a game-ending double play to pick up his fifth save of the season.
UCF right-hander Chris Williams (4-2) took the loss, surrendering six runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
The series will conclude on Sunday with first pitch set for 10 a.m. CT. Sunday’s game was originally set for noon, but due to forecasted weather in the Orlando area the start time was pushed up.