OU Drops Series Opener to Missouri State
NORMAN – The Oklahoma baseball team jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but fell to Missouri State 11-8 Friday night in the weekend series opener at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Sophomore catcher Justin Mitchell drove in three runs and sophomore left fielder Jordan Vujovich singled and walked five times. Vujovich has reached base in 12 straight plate appearances, dating back to the Sunday game at Rice.
The Sooners (14-4) scored five runs in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 7-0, then added a run in the sixth inning. The Bears (5-11) scored seven runs in the seventh inning, three in the eighth and one in the ninth to pull ahead, 11-8.
“We had an 8-0 lead and lost the momentum of the game,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “It’s a learning lesson, even for me. It is very hard to eat at times, humble pie, because that is what the game will do to you. That is why it is so beautiful and why it is the greatest game ever made. You can love it, it doesn’t care about you. You can fail at it and it still doesn’t care about you. You just have to keep playing it the fundamental way.”
Mitchell singled to left field in the first inning to score Vujovich put the Sooners on the board quickly. In the third, freshman designated hitter Diego Muniz singled home senior third baseman Brylie Ware to make it 2-0. OU broke open the game with five runs in the fourth inning. Ware hit a two-run single to first base, Mitchell followed with a two-run double and then scored on a base hit by junior second baseman Conor McKenna.
Vujovich drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 8-0. That was his 11th straight plate appearance reaching base, and he walked again in the eighth inning. In his last 12 plate appearances, Vujovich has collected four hits, seven walks and a hit by pitch. Before tonight, the last Sooner to draw five walks in a game was Cade Harris on March 9, 2018 against Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Missouri State scored seven runs in the seventh inning to cut it to 8-7. The big hit was a grand slam by left fielder Logan Geha, which followed a sacrifice fly, RBI single and bases-loaded walk. The Bears took a 10-8 lead with three runs in the top of the eighth on a double, fielder’s choice groundout and an infield single, then added a run in the ninth inning.
MSU reliever Connor Sechler (1-1) earned the win while OU freshman Wyatt Olds (0-1) took the loss on the mound.
The Sooners and Bears continue the series at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mitchell Park.