Sooners Stay Alive in Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma baseball won its second straight elimination game at the Big 12 Championship, defeating Kansas, 4-2, Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in front of 7,024 fans. The Sooners improved to 36-22 overall, while Kansas ends its season with a 27-30 record.
Oklahoma got its offense going early and scored three runs in the first inning off of KU starting pitcher Taylor Turski. After Brandon Zaragoza walked on a 10-pitch at-bat, the junior came around to score on a single from Justin Mitchell and a Kansas throwing error.
A RBI single from Kyle Mendenhall followed by a RBI double from Thomas Hughes allowed OU to push its lead to 3-0.
The Sooners added a run in the third as Mendenhall’s sacrifice fly plated Justin Mitchell, who led off the frame with his first triple of the season.
Mendenhall finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and scored once, while Mitchell was 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. For the second straight game, Thomas Hughes added two hits as OU’s designated hitter. The trio combined for six of OU’s seven hits.
“I thought the game started off with us scoring and then Kyle (Tyler) set the tone, getting three up and three down in the first inning and then us scoring three runs, it really settled us down and was special," OU head coach Skip Johnson. "Just nine games named Joe, you know, that’s what it’s been all year. Kyle started for us early in the year and then I asked him to go to the bullpen, and he was really unselfish in doing that. Then we asked him to start today and he was really special today."
In the fourth, Kansas trimmed the Sooners’ lead down to a pair of triples from James Consentino and Devin Foyle against OU starter Kyle Tyler. The junior, making his first start since April 24, settled in and tossed six innings to earn the win. Tyler (5-2) struck out five and walked two, while giving up three hits.
From there, OU’s bullpen held the Jayhawks off the scoreboard. Lane Ramsey struck out a pair in the seventh, while Braidyn Fink and Conner Berry combined to work a scoreless eighth.
The Sooners brought on Austin Hansen for the ninth and the junior delivered by striking out the side to pick up his team-leading eighth save.
Turski took the loss for Kansas, allowing five hits and four runs with two strikeouts. Brendt Citta was 2-for-4 at the plate for the Jayhawks.
OU has advanced to the Big 12 Championship semifinals for the third time in the last four years. The Sooners will face Baylor at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday.