SURPRISE, Ariz. – After allowing a run in the first, redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick (Denton, Texas) locked in and delivered a 6.2-inning, six-strikeout performance in a 8-4 win for the University of Oklahoma baseball team over Santa Clara on Friday evening. The Sooners improved to 7-3, while the Broncos dropped to 5-6.
Trailing 1-0, Choplick (2-1) sat down 13 in a row beginning with the first out of the bottom of the second, which came with two runners on base. For the game, he allowed just one run on four hits and one walk.
“Choplick was outstanding,” started head coach Pete Hughes. “He got in a really good rhythm there. He was beating them with his fastball and that gave him a lot of confidence.”
Oklahoma erased Santa Clara’s one-run lead with a pair of runs in the third inning. Sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) led off with a walk and came around on a double to right-center by sophomore right fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) to tie the game. He later scored on a ground-rule double by freshman first baseman Niko Buentello (Lewisville, Texas).
The Sooners added two more in the fourth. Aikin drove in a run on a groundout as sophomore third baseman Kolbey Carpenter (Waco, Texas), who led off with a walk and later stole third, scored. Haley later singled, stole second and came home on a base hit up the middle by freshman designated hitter Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas).
“I thought we did a pretty decent job of situational hitting,” continued Hughes. “We played some clean baseball. That’s our second game in a row with no errors. We only walked one runner for the game, so we’re throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters.”
Aikin drove in his second right of the day on a sacrifice-fly in the eighth. In the bottom half of the inning, Santa Clara mounted a comeback to pull within a run on a three-run home run by Casey Munoz over the fence in left field.
Oklahoma responded in the top of the ninth with three runs to add some insurance en route to the victory. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of junior left fielder and catcher Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas) with a two-run double down the left field line.
For the game, Haley went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. James, Hermelyn and Buentello also recorded multi-hit games. James leads the Sooners with six multi-hit games on the season.
Right-hander Steven Wilson (0-1) took the loss for the Broncos. He allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks in six innings pitched. Center fielder Greg Harisis went 2-for-4 with two runs scored out of the lead-off spot.
Oklahoma takes on host Arizona State Saturday at 5:00 pm at Surprise Stadium.
· The Sooners allowed a run in the first inning for only the second time this season. OU has outscored opponents, 19-2, in the first inning.
· Oklahoma has scored two or more runs in an inning 23 times this season.
· Haley picked up his fifth multi-hit game of the season and second three-hit game. He also stole his team-leading fourth base of the season; all in four attempts.
· Lorenzana has started 75 straight games at second base.
· Starting with the third out of the second inning, Choplick retired 14 consecutive batters until a one-out double in the seventh.
· Oklahoma recorded double-digit hits for the fifth time this season and the first since February 20 vs. The Citadel.
· Choplick matched a career-high with 6.2 inning pitch. He previously set that mark against Northwestern State (3/17/13).
· James and Ake executed OU’s second successful double steal of the season in the eighth inning.
· The Sooners stole a season-high four bases in the game.
· Oklahoma is 5-3 all-time in the ASU Tournament after competing in Surprise in 2004 and 2005.
· The Sooners evened the all-time series with Santa Clara, 1-1. The two teams met for the first time in San Jose, Calif. In 1991.
· The Oklahoma defense played a clean game; not committing an error for the third time this season.
· Haley and Neuse are tied for the team lead with 12 RBI on the season.