Long Ball Helps Sooners to Win at Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Oklahoma baseball’s bats exploded for four home runs and 12 hits in a 14-6 win over Kansas on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark to conclude the regular season. The Sooners improved to 34-21 and 14-10 in the Big 12 play, while Kansas fell to 25-28 and 8-15 in the league.
OU trailed 1-0 early, but back-to-back doubles by Brylie Ware and Kyle Mendenhall tied the game in the second. Mendenhall came around to score on a wild pitch Kansas starting pitcher Taylor Turski to put OU into the lead.
Cade Cavalli and Ware contributed to OU’s early lead with a pair of three-run homers in the third inning. Ware drilled his first home run of the season in OU’s seven-run third inning to extended the Sooners' lead. After Justin Mitchell drove in one with a RBI double, Cavalli followed two batters later with a towering three-run blast to left.
After Kansas trimmed OU’s lead down to 9-4, Cade Harris answered with his fourth home run of the year on a solo shot to right field in the sixth. The Jayhawks used a two-run blast to cut into the Sooners' advantage in the seventh, but Tyler Hardman responded with his third home run of the season to push OU’s lead back to 11-6 in the eighth.
Ware finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, doubled twice and matched his career high with six RBI. The junior cleared the bases with a two-bagger to center as the Sooners tacked on four runs in the eighth.
Harris was 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a RBI, while Mendenhall picked up his second straight multi-hit game and scored twice. Cavalli matched his career high with three RBI, homering for the third time in the last six games.
Eight of OU’s nine starters recorded at least one hit, while all nine reached base at least once.
Sophomore right-hander Nathan Wiles picked up the win in seven innings of work, giving up six runs on five hits. Wiles (6-3) struck out six and settled in after giving up a run in the first inning. Devon Perez, Ryan Madden and Aaron Brooks combined to work the final two innings in relief.
Turski (2-8) took the loss for the Jayhawks after surrendering eight hits and nine runs, eight of which were earned. Senior catcher Tanner Gragg led the Jayhawks at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance and a two-run home run.
The Sooners move on to the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City starting Wednesday. No. 4 seed Oklahoma will take on fifth-seeded Baylor. The start time is yet to be announced.