Baseball Defeats Dallas Baptist, 4-2
NORMAN – Led by stellar pitching and two-out scoring, the Oklahoma baseball team topped Dallas Baptist 4-2 Wednesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park, as the Sooners improved to 4-0 on the season.
Freshman Ben Abram (1-0) struck out five and allowed four hits and one earned run and no walks in 5.0 innings to earn the victory in his debut. The bullpen, comprised of sophomores Ledgend Smith, Aaron Brooks and Zack Matthews, shut out the Patriots (3-1) over four innings. OU pitchers totaled 10 strikeouts in the game.
Sophomore catcher Justin Mitchell reached base all four times at the plate and scored two runs, going 2-for-2 with a walk and hit-by-pitch. Senior right fielder Blake Brewster went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, and freshman center fielder Milan Walla singled and drove in two runs. The trio accounted for five of OU’s eight hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
“Ben really set the tone and attacked the mitt,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “It was really big for him to do that. We’ve been really pleased with (the pitchers) staying within themselves in pressure situations. We had the two-out hits, and I think that’s sign that we’re more focused with men in scoring position. We could have separated the game a couple of times late (and didn’t), and that’s a sign of what we still have to work on too.”
Oklahoma scored three of its runs with two outs. In the second inning, Brewster and Walla hit back-to-back singles to score junior second baseman Conor McKenna and sophomore catcher Justin Mitchell, who reached on walks. Senior third baseman Brylie Ware led off the seventh inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore designated hitter Cade Cavalli to make the score 4-2.
After Dallas Baptist pulled within 2-1 in the top of the fourth, the Sooners extended the lead back to two runs when Walla drew a bases-loaded walk. Mitchell was hit by a pitch, sophomore first baseman Tyler Hardman doubled and Brewster drew a walk to set up the RBI by Walla. OU had more opportunities to add runs, but left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings and left a runner in scoring position in the eighth inning.
Abram ended four of his five innings with a strikeout, including the fourth inning with runners on the corners and a 2-1 lead. Smith entered the game in the sixth with a runner on first, and induced a double play and strikeout to end the inning. Brooks struck out the only batter he faced to end the eighth. After a single to start the ninth, Matthews rebounded with a groundout and two strikeouts to end the game.
The Patriots scored on an error in the fourth inning and a solo home run in the fifth by center fielder Luke Bandy. DBU starter Parker Towns (1-1) allowed two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings in the loss.
Oklahoma travels to San Diego for the Tony Gwynn Legacy tournament Friday through Sunday. The Sooners play San Diego at 8 p.m. CT Friday, San Diego State at 8 p.m. CT Saturday and Cal State Fullerton at noon CT Sunday.