Early Offense Leads OU to Series Win at UCF
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Oklahoma baseball team scored five runs through the first three innings en route to a 7-4 win over UCF at John Euliano Park. The Sooners improved to 33-19, while UCF fell to 33-19.
The victory marked the 12th straight win for Oklahoma in a deciding third game of a series.
The Sooners scored first without registering a hit in the top of the second. With the bases loaded, a failed pickoff attempt by UCF catcher Logan Heiser allowed Kyler Murray, who walked and picked up his ninth stolen base of the year earlier in the inning, to score from third.
UCF answered back in the bottom of the second inning capitalizing on a leadoff single from second baseman Matthew Mika. One batter later, a throwing error by the Sooners plated Mika to tie the game. A RBI single to center by UCF’s Adam Torres put the Knights in front, 2-1, later in the inning.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the third inning, Murray drilled his second home run in as many days with a three-run blast to left field to give the Sooners the lead for a good. The redshirt sophomore walked twice and scored a pair of runs, finishing with a 1-for-3 performance and three RBI.
Murray finished the series 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs, two doubles, five runs scored and eight RBI.
Steele Walker drove in two runs and was 2-for-5 with a run scored. The junior tacked on an insurance run for the Sooners in the sixth with a RBI single to center. Walker finished with at two hits in each game of the series against the Knights.
Cade Harris drew two walks and scored twice, finishing 1-for-3 at the plate with a double. Harris drew his 55th walk of the season, the most by an OU player in one year during the Big 12 era. Justin Mitchell, Brylie Ware and Brandon Zaragoza each recorded a one hit apiece.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Nathan Wiles tossed 5.2 innings to pick up his fifth victory of the season. Wiles (5-3) struck out six and allowed two runs, both unearned, on five hits.
After UCF cut the OU lead down to 7-4 in the ninth, junior right-hander Austin Hansen entered the game with bases loaded and recorded the final three outs for his sixth save of the year. Junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Tyler replaced Wiles and threw two scoreless innings and struck out four out of the bullpen.
UCF starting pitcher Joe Sheridan (3-3) took the loss, pitching two innings and giving up four runs on two hits and four walks.
Oklahoma returns to action Thursday to open its final Big 12 series at Kansas. The three-game series begins at 6:05 p.m. CT from Lawrence.