OU Clinches Series over Kansas
NORMAN – Third baseman Brylie Ware went 3-for-4 and scored two runs to lead the 25th-ranked Oklahoma baseball team to a 4-3 weather-delayed win over Kansas Saturday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners (20-4, 2-0 Big 12) clinched the Big 12 conference-opening series over the Jayhawks (13-9, 0-2 Big 12) in a game delayed 97 minutes during the seventh inning by lightning and a thunderstorm.
Junior Nathan Wiles struck out five batters and allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk to improve to 5-0 on the season. Junior Jason Ruffcorn earned his fifth save of the year. KU starter Ryan Cyr (2-2) pitched 4.2 innings in the loss. OU scored three runs in the bottom of the first and added one in the third, then withstood a three-run fourth inning by Kansas.
“We just set the tone early,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “We came out really aggressive and scored three runs right off the bat. Nathan’s best two innings, besides the first, were his last two when he really started locating his fastball and his breaking ball was crisp. That was what really separated him with a great outing.”
In the first inning, Brylie Ware doubled home left fielder Jordan Vujovich and an error on the play allowed shortstop Brandon Zaragoza to score. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Ware scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Conor McKenna.
The Sooners extended their lead to 4-0 in the third when catcher Brady Lindsly drove a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field, scoring Ware.
Kansas cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by left fielder Brett Vosik and two RBI groundouts. Two base hits and a catcher’s interference preceded Vosik’s single, and a pop out ended the inning with a runner on third.
Wiles responded by facing the minimum the next three innings, retiring six straight batters, then inducing a 4-6-3 double play to end the seventh inning. The game was delayed immediately after the third out of the top of the seventh was recorded.
The Sooners reliever combination of freshman Wyatt Olds and sophomore Zack Matthews held Kansas off the board in the eighth inning and Ruffcorn closed it out in the ninth.
Oklahoma and Kansas conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mitchell Park.