NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma baseball team picked up a doubleheader sweep of Texas A&M Corpus Christi with 3-2 and 7-3 wins in front of 1,030 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Saturday. The Sooners were 13-for-31 with nine runs driven in with two outs on the day to improve to 10-6 on the season.
Oklahoma got single runs in the third, sixth and eighth against Islander righty Aaron Hernandez (1-2). On his second single of the day, junior right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) pushed across the first run of the ball game. The Sooners doubled their lead with a two-out rally in the sixth. Sophomore catcher Brady Lindsly (Keller, Texas) and junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) hit back-to-back doubles to produce a run. Lindsly drove in OU’s third run of the game on his third hit of the early session.
Senior right-handed pitcher Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) pitched 5.1 innings in the start for Oklahoma. Perez (1-0) shutout Corpus Christi and scattered six hits with one strikeout. Junior RHP Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) registered a save by pitching the ninth as the Islanders made it a one-run game with two runs on three hits and a walk.
“I thought they came out and Devon was good, really controlled his emotions pitch-to-pitch and he set the tone and that’s why I went out and pulled him on a 2-1 count,” OU head coach Skip Johnson said of his game one starter. “He just exhausted everything and we wanted to try and have him leave on a good note.”
Hernandez lasted 7.2 innings for the Islanders. He allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts. Designated hitter Luke Marbach was 3-for-5 with three doubles.
In game two, Oklahoma scored in the first inning for the sixth time in the last seven games. Corpus Christi answered by taking the lead in the top of the second on a two-run home run to left by second baseman Andriud Martinez.
Walker led off the home half of the third with a double banged off the wall in right and redshirt-sophomore center fielder Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas) walked to set the table. After the pair was sacrificed into scoring position by Lindsly, senior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) blasted a go-ahead, three-run home run off the left field foul pole.
Freshman right-hander Cade Cavalli (Bixby, Okla.) made his first career start on the mound. He lasted three innings and gave up two runs on two hits and one walk, while striking out six. Cavalli (2-0) threw 56 pitches on a 70-pitch count max to earn the win. Junior RHP Dylan Grove (Moore, Okla.) was excellent out of the pen for 5.1 innings. He surrendered a run in his final inning of work; totaling three hits and a walk against him with six strikeouts.
“I’m trying to build his innings up, that’s what I need to try to do is build his innings up,” Johnson said of Cavalli. “The biggest thing is, that guy could be really special one day and it is really building his innings up for our future so we need to keep building him up as we go through the next phase of what we are going to do.”
At the plate, Walker led the OU lineup with a 6-for-9 day and Lindsly was 5-for-9.
The series concludes with game four Sunday at 1 p.m. Junior RHP Kyle Tyler (Oklahoma City) gets the ball for the Sooners.