Sooners Rally to Win Series at K-State
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Freshman Diego Muniz hit a two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning and junior Jason Ruffcorn slammed the door as the Oklahoma baseball team won its series at Kansas State with a 6-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
The Sooners (30-15, 8-7 Big 12) trailed 2-0 with just three hits through seven innings, but rallied for three runs in the eighth. The Wildcats (21-24, 6-9 Big 12) tied it with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, but Oklahoma plated three runs in the 10th on Muniz’s home run and an RBI double by sophomore Jordan Vujovich.
“The kids played with their hearts today. The last part of the game was really big, and they didn’t want to give up,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “We talk about attitude being a decision, and (Milan) Walla coming off the bench with a big hit and Vujovich coming up with a walk and a double – those were huge. That’s about attitude. It’s not about X’s and O’s, it’s about your attitude, and that was the separator in the game.”
The incredible comeback was sparked by a pair of pinch-hit plate appearances in the eighth inning. After shortstop Brandon Zaragoza drew a leadoff walk, freshman Milan Walla drove a pinch-hit double into the left field corner. It was Walla’s first hit since March 6 and his first game action since April 6.
Center fielder Tanner Tredaway followed with a single to right, scoring Zaragoza, and the left fielder Muniz singled through the infield to score Walla with the tying run. After third baseman Brylie Ware was intentionally walked to load the bases, Vujovich pinch hit and drew a walk to score Tredaway as OU took the 3-2 lead.
The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run by third baseman Cameron Thompson.
Tredaway started the 10th with a base hit through the left side and Muniz hit a rocket out to left field to put the Sooners ahead 5-3. After catcher Brady Lindsly walked and recorded his first career stolen base, Vujovich laced a ground-rule double that bounced over the left field wall, scoring Lindsly to make it 6-3.
Ruffcorn (2-2) pitched the final two innings and earned the win. He fielded a bunt with two runners on in the ninth inning and got the lead runner out at third. Then with the winning run on third base, Zaragoza drifted out to left field to catch a soft pop up and force extra innings.
Both teams were retired in order in the first two innings. Ware was involved in five of the first six defensive putouts for the Sooners, assisting on three groundouts and catching two pop ups.
Kansas State loaded the bases in the third with a base hit and two bunt singles and scored a run on a double play. In the fourth inning, an RBI single by catcher Chris Ceballos made it 2-0.
Freshman Jaret Godman pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of freshman Ben Abram, who made his first career weekend start for the Sooners. Zack Matthews followed Godman with two innings before Ruffcorn took over in the ninth. KSU reliefer Mitch Zubradt (1-1) took the loss.
The Sooners return home next weekend to play host to Texas Tech at L. Dale Mitchell Park. It will be OU’s first home games since April 9.