|W - Piche' (4-2)||1.0||3||2||1||1||0|
|L - Ladd (1-1)||2.1||2||1||1||1||3|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Haley||5||1||3||0||0||0|
|KU - Suiter||5||0||3||1||0||0|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Down to its final strike in three straight at-bats, the University of Oklahoma baseball team battled back to tie the game in the top of the ninth, but ultimately fell in the bottom to Kansas, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon. The Sooners took their second straight Big 12 series despite dropping to 20-9 overall and 4-2 in the league. The Jayhawks improved to 18-10 and 3-3.
With two on and two out, KU designated hitter Dakota Smith hit a high fly ball to the track in left field. OU sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) sprinted toward the wall and dove, but the ball landed out of his reach and Jayhawk shortstop Justin Protacio scored the game-winning run from second base.
Oklahoma trailed 3-1 heading to the ninth inning and got the rally started with a two-out walk to redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh (Broken Arrow, Okla.). Alspaugh, who was the first of three Sooner batters to face a two-strike count, moved into scoring position on a defensive indifference. Freshman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) then drove him in with a pinch-hit single to right-center.
Redshirt-freshman Tyler Coolbaugh (Colleyville, Texas) pinch-ran for O’Brien and moved into scoring position on a single by junior second baseman Keach Ballard (Durant, Okla.). Sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) then singled and Coolbaugh rounded third before quickly turning back, but wound up scoring on the play on an errant throw by the Kansas catcher to tie the game.
Kansas held an early lead with a run in the first and second. Oklahoma cut the lead in half with a third-inning score as Haley tripled off the wall in left and scored on a wild pitch. The Jayhawks added one more run off of freshman right-handed starter Jake Elliott (Coppell, Texas) in the fourth.
Elliott lasted five innings in the no-decision. He gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks. Senior RHP Kindle Ladd (McKinney, Texas) took the loss in a 2.1-inning relief effort. He struck out three and surrendered one run on two hits and a walk.
Right-hander Jordan Piche’ (4-2) blew the save for Kansas in the ninth, but was the winning pitcher. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk in his only inning of work. Fellow righty Frank Duncan scattered seven hits and three walks across eight innings and struck out five, while giving up just one run.
Haley finished the day 3-for-5, while Aikin added a multi-hit game; going 2-for-5. For the Jayhawks, left fielder Michael Suiter went 3-for-5 with a RBI and catcher Ka’iana Eldredge was 2-for-3.
The Sooners return home for the first game of the Bedlam Series on Tuesday, April 1 when they host the Cowboys at L. Dale Mitchell Park at 6:00 pm.
Oklahoma will also host its “Shave for the Brave” event following practice on Thursday, April 3 in an effort to raise money in the fight against childhood cancer.