Sooners' Early Lead, Series Slip Away

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Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 14, 2018
17 Texas
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11 Oklahoma

NORMAN – The No. 11 University of Oklahoma baseball team sprinted out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but No. 17 Texas reached the finish line with a 5-3 decision in front of 3,003 at L. Dale Mitchell Park late Saturday night. The loss dropped the Sooners to 25-13 overall and 8-3 in the Big 12, falling out of first place, while the Longhorns jumped to 24-13 and 11-3.

Oklahoma got three RBI-singles to plate its runs in the first inning; taking advantage of a leadoff-walk, a wild pitch and an error to set the table with runners on the corners. Junior right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) drove in the first run of the night with a base hit through the right side.

The Sooners tacked on a RBI-single to center by sophomore catcher Brady Lindsly (Keller, Texas) and a two-out base hit to center by senior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.).

Texas got on the board in the fourth with two-run double down the left field line by right fielder Duke Ellis with two outs. The Longhorns tied the game an inning later on a solo home run from second baseman Kody Clemens.

Clemens homered off OU freshman lefty Levi Prater (Ada, Okla.), the first Sooner reliever of the night. Prater (2-2) settled in from there retiring eight in a row, including five in a row by strikeout as he totaled six in three innings of work. He returned for the eighth and UT designated hitter Zach Zubia went yard with a go-ahead two-run home run to right.

Right-hander Nolan Kingham (5-2), who was scratched from Friday night’s start, got the win in four innings of shutout relief. He gave up three hits, one walk and struck out three.

The Sooners staged a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth. Lindsly lined his third hit of the game and junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) walked to put the tying runs on base before Kingham got the final out.

Senior RHP Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) lasted four innings in the start for Oklahoma. He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts. RHP Chase Shugart went five innings and surrendered the three first innings runs, one earned, on four hits and four walks with four strikeouts.

The series finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2. Sophomore righty Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) goes to the mound for the Sooners.