April 17, 2012
TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma swept the season series with in-state rival Oral Roberts on Tuesday with a 6-3 victory at L.J. Johnson Stadium. The Sooners topped the Golden Eagles 5-2 on March 27 in Norman.
It marked the fifth straight win for the Sooners, which improved to 23-14 overall and the Golden Eagles dropped to 17-18.
“This place has so many great memories, eight years, and Rob (Walton) is like a brother to me. It was good to be back,” said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway. “We are going to continue to play this series because it makes both teams better, no doubt. I am one of those guys that remembers where they came from and I will always be indebted to Oral Roberts and athletics director Mike Carter for giving me my start as a young head coach.”
A sacrifice fly by Erik Ross in the eighth inning gave OU a 4-2 lead and that run proved to be the game winner as Alex Gonzalez dropped to 3-3 for ORU. Hunter Lockwood put the game away after he drove in his team-leading 32nd and 33rd run off a two-run single up the middle in the ninth.
The three late runs gave Dillon Overton his fifth win of the year in just his third relief appearance of the season. Overton relieved Damien Magnifico after four innings and finished with seven strikeouts and one run allowed off four hits and zero walks.
“It just set up for us to expand him (Overton) there,” said Golloway. “If we had a Big 12 weekend coming up, there’s no way we could have let him go as long as we did. That was fortunate for us.”
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of singles off Magnifico, who gave up two runs, one earned, off four hits.
The Sooners were limited to zero hits until the fifth inning when Cody Reine singled Max White (walk) to second base, which prompted the second pitching change of the day for Oral Roberts. Evan Mistich doubled off the wall on the first pitch he saw by Dan Martony and advanced to third on the throw by left fielder Brandon King. Mistich later scored on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Carey.
Magnifico took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth but was unable to record an out and left the bases loaded for Overton. The Sooner reliever quickly induced a double play but Jose Trevino came back in the next at-bat to single in the Golden Eagles’ second run. Cody Reine preserved the one-run lead by gunning down the second ORU runner trying to score off Trevino’s single to end the threat.
“When the situation came up, they called on me,” said Overton. “It worked out good. I came into situations like that last year, it was nothing new for me.”
ORU threatened again in the eighth inning with three of its four hits off Overton but White made a diving catch in center field to maintain the Sooners’ lead.
Mistich led the Sooner offense with two hits and two RBI as Oral Roberts used seven pitchers in the game.
“We did the little things really well tonight,” said Mistich. “We bunted the ball. We hit the sacrifice fly when he had guys on third. That stuff was huge for us.”
The Sooners host Alabama State over the weekend in a three-game series starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Game two on Saturday is slated for 2 p.m. while Sunday’s finale gets underway at 1 p.m.