Tyler Cruises in Sooners' Shutout Win
NORMAN – Junior right-hander Kyle Tyler (Oklahoma City) worked a perfect game into the seventh inning and came out a winner in a 13-0 decision for the University of Oklahoma baseball team over Little Rock at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Tuesday night. The Sooners improved to 24-11 on the year, while the Trojans dropped to 17-14.
Tyler (3-2) got the win in a career-high eight innings after sitting down the first 18 batters of the night before a leadoff-single in the seventh. He struck out nine and did not issue a walk; his third start of nine strikeouts or more this season.
“I think it’s really big that we can rely on a guy who we know is going to throw strikes and go pitch-for-pitch,” said OU head coach Skip Johnson. “He made pitches when he had to make pitches.”
The two sides were scoreless through four. Junior left fielder Blake Brewster (Moore, Okla.), making just his fourth start, put OU on the board in the fifth with a two-run home run out to right. Junior center fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) followed an inning later with an opposite field shot to left.
Little Rock leadoff hitter and center fielder Marcus Ragan opened the top of the seventh with a single up the middle to break up Tyler’s perfect night. Sooner senior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) slid up the middle and attempted to backhand the ball, but it was out of reach off the end of his glove. Tyler, who allowed just two hits overall, bounced back to strike out the next batter on three pitches as he finished the inning unscathed.
“I think last week carried over to tonight,” began Tyler, who threw 6.1 innings at ORU last Tuesday. “I listened to Skip on attacking the strike zone on the first pitch and not worrying about what happens after that. Skip always tells me, ‘it’s always about the execution – the outcome doesn’t matter’. I’ve been sticking to that the past couple outings and it seems to be working.”
Oklahoma broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the seventh. Brewster banged a double off the wall in right to drive in two more. Junior right fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) added a RBI-double and Walker launched his second home run of the night; a two-run shot to right.
The Sooners outhit Little Rock, 8-3, for the night. Brewster was 2-for-2 with five RBI as he added a sacrifice-fly late in the game. Walker was 2-for-5 with four RBI and junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored.
RHP Aaron Funk pitched just two innings in the start for the Trojans. He walked two and struck out two in a no-decision. Righty Carter Brown (0-2) was the second Little Rock reliever of the night and took the loss in 0.2 innings with two runs scored against him on one hit and one walk.
Oklahoma is in action again Wednesday night as in-state rival Oral Roberts visits for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.