|W - Hayes (3-0)||1.0||0||0||0||2||2|
|L - Aikenhead(4-4)||7.0||7||4||4||0||2|
|S - Garza (6)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1|
|OU - O'Brien||3||1||2||1||0||0|
|OU - Ake||3||1||2||1||0||0|
|Player of the Game|
|Austin O'Brien // Fr. // DH
O'Brien plated the game-tying run in the sixth on a triple for his second multi-hit game of the season.
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team erased a one-run deficit with a three-run seventh inning en route to a 4-2 win over CSU Bakersfield at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Friday night. The Sooners improved to 21-10, while the Roadrunners dropped to 11-17. The two teams will conclude the series with a doubleheader starting at 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon. Sundays contest was moved up due to the threat of inclement weather.
Trailing 2-1 after the seventh inning stretch, Oklahoma got its offense going with a one-out single by junior left fielder Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas). Freshman designated hitter Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) tied the game on a triple hit deep to the wall in center. The Sooners took the lead on the next pitch as sophomore right fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) banged a double off the right field wall.
Oklahoma added a third run in the inning as junior second baseman Joshua Ake (Readington, N.J.) drove in Haley with an infield single to short. It was the second hit of the game for Ake, who doubled and scored in the sixth inning. Ake and O’Brien each went 2-for-3 in the game.
“I was waiting for that inning, you know, to get guys comfortable and feeling good again,” said head coach Pete Hughes. “I would love to see it in the first of these games because it’s agonizing waiting until the seventh to get there. I can’t put any more pressure on these guys so I back off. It takes a guy like Stoney [Austin] O’Brien to come in and barrel something in—and Josh Ake got everyone relaxed in there. It was good to see us hit a couple of doubles. It is amazing though, once you see that one ball, then boom, boom, everyone’s relaxed and the pressure is off.”
Sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. (New Braunfels, Texas) was the fifth OU pitcher of the night when he entered in the ninth inning. He promptly set Bakersfield down in order to record his sixth save of the season.
Senior right-hander Kyle Hayes (Santee, Calif.) claimed the win in one inning of relief of sophomore righty Corey Copping (Temple City, Calif.). Hayes (3-0) pitched one shutout innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He issued back-to-back one-out walks, but escaped the jam with a strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out at third base.
“[Copping] threw a lot of strikes,” continued Hughes. “I thought he had a good fastball and he really beat them with his breaking ball today. Those guys had trouble picking the spin. I thought he was very good today. One of the runs there, it popped up and got Hunter turned around—yeah, Corey pitched awesome, I thought it was his best outing of the year.”
Copping tossed a season-high 100 pitches as he went six innings. He allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and one walk, while striking out five. For the Roadrunners, lefty Taylor Aikenhead pitched seven innings and scattered seven hits, while walking none and striking out two for four runs.