OKLAHOMA CITY – The No. 4 seed Oklahoma baseball team fell, 4-0, to No. 5 seed Baylor in its Big 12 Championship opener Wednesday. The Sooners dropped to 34-22 overall, while the Bears improved to 33-19.
Baylor took advantage of a pair of OU errors in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin reached base to open the game on a fielding error by the Sooners, then moved to second after errant pickoff attempt. Richard Cunningham’s RBI single put the Bears on the board, while Shea Langeliers’ single plated another run to put Baylor in front 2-0 against OU starter Jake Irvin after one inning.
"I thought we lost the momentum of the game in the first inning - we didn't play defense and then we settled down and didn't get timely hitting," OU head coach Skip Johnson said. "One time we got the leadoff hitter on and then had a quality at-bat from Brylie Ware who hit a line drive double play that kind of stopped the momentum. You've got to give Baylor credit for what they did."
Irvin tossed five innings and surrendered two runs, both unearned, to take the loss. The junior (6-2) recorded six strikeouts, gave up five hits and allowed two walks.
Baylor left-hander Cody Bradford limited the Sooners to four hits in 7.2 scoreless innings of work. Bradford (7-5) struck out 11 and walked two before being lifted with two outs in the eighth.
Junior left fielder Cade Harris recorded his 21st double of the year and finished 1-for-3. Redshirt sophomore Kyler Murray was 1-for-4 with a walk, while junior right fielder Domenic DeRenzo and freshman catcher Justin Mitchell also picked up one hit a piece.
OU had chances in the third inning and fourth inning to cut into Baylor’s lead. The Sooners had runners at second and third with one out, but Bradford rolled a ground out and induced a fly out to right field to end OU’s chance.
In the fourth, OU got the leadoff runner aboard as Murray walked, but Brylie Ware lined into a double play ending the threat.
Baylor added insurance runs in their final two at-bats. The Bears pushed their lead to 3-0 by scoring on a wild pitch in the eighth, while Cole Haring hit a solo home run to left in the ninth for Baylor. Haring finished 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored to lead Baylor offensively.
Oklahoma will face No. 1 seed Texas at 9 a.m. CT in an elimination game Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Longhorns fell, 3-2, to Kansas on Wednesday.
OU will turn to sophomore right-hander Nathan Wiles on the mound. Thursday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox College Sports.