April 1, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- No. 24 Oklahoma trailed by one run entering the ninth inning on Sunday, but came up with a pair clutch two-out RBIs by Cody Reine (triple) and Evan Mistich (single) to propel the Sooners to a 4-3 win over Kansas State.
The single by Mistich clinched the series win for OU, something its done in a game three in seven out of the last eight series meetings with Kansas State.
Reine’s triple to right-center field in the ninth plated Hunter Lockwood, who singled earlier in the frame. Then Mistich brought home Reine on the game-winning single, marking OU’s first walk-off victory of the 2012 campaign.
“I was just happy I could come through and help the team win the game,” said Mistich.
“It was just us really staying focused and ready to hit when our time was called upon, and we’re ready today. When he hit that ball, I was really excited for him.” said Reine about Mistich and himself coming off the bench. “It’s a big win. It inspires us to be out there and know we can be going through tough times and still be able to come back and win.”
The Sooners improved their overall mark to 18-11 and 4-5 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats dropped to 14-13 and 3-6.
Steven Okert improved to 4-3 after pitching two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Lockwood led OU with two of the team’s six hits while KSU’s Jon Davis had three of its eight base knocks.
“It was huge, there is no doubt about it,” said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway on the comeback. “They pitched really well and we were struggling. Their team was getting some key hits yesterday and today. They get a guy in scoring position, and they would get a hit. It was pretty amazing and we were not getting those hits with two outs and men in scoring position.”
The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead after three innings, scoring both times off a walk and a double off Sooner starter Jonathan Gray.
While Gray struggled early, so did the OU offense. The Sooners broke up the no-hit bid and shutout by Kansas State and starter Kayvon Bahramzadeh with a walk by Max Whtie to lead off the fifth and a double by Lockwood. White came around to score on Brian Brightwell’s sacrifice fly to centerfield, which also allowed Lockwood to move to third base and eventually score on a wild pitch.
The 2-2 tie was broken up in the seventh inning after Gray had retired nine straight Wildcats before giving up back-to-back two-out doubles. Gray tied a career high with seven innings pitched and threw a season-best 105 pitches, which included five strikeouts and three walks.
The comeback for the Sooners spoiled a solid start by KSU’ Bahramzadeh, who posted 11 strikeouts and two hits over six innings tossed. Closer Nate Williams (0-2), who posted the save on Saturday, took the loss after giving up the final two runs off three hits.
OU travels to No. 6 Texas A&M for a three-game set over Easter weekend. The Sooners and Aggies will play the series on Thursday (6:35 p.m.), Friday (6:35 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.). All three games will be carried on the Sooner Sports Network KREF 1400 AM while Saturday’s finale will be televised on ESPNU.