|W - Tasin (4-4)||5.0||4||2||2||1||2|
|L - Dastano (5-3)||3.1||12||9||9||1||1|
|S - N/A||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|OU - Aikin||5||2||4||1||0||0|
|OU - Hermelyn||5||2||4||1||0||1|
|OU - Neuse||5||2||3||1||0||1|
|Player of the Game|
|Craig Aikin // So. // CF
Aikin had four hits, all coming early in the game, to help propel the OU offense. He fell a home run shy of the cycle, but gave the ball a ride to the track in his final attempt.
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team used an eight-run fourth inning to erase an early deficit on its way to a 13-7 win over Baylor, ending a seven-game losing streak, at L. Dale Mitchell Park in front of 1,646 on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners improved to 26-22 overall and 6-11 in the Big 12, while the Bears fell to 21-27 and 6-13.
“[The hitting] just gets rolling and it’s infectious on both ends. For us to get that eight-spot up there, the guys felt comfortable in the box for the first time and that was impressive, which is big,” said head coach Pete Hughes. “You can’t say enough about Robert Tasin, you get that eight-spot and you need to put a zero up there. He had a shutout-inning and did it for three more innings for us. After giving up a two-run homer he kept his composure and kept throwing strikes for us to keep building the lead.”
Trailing 6-3 at the middle of the fourth inning, senior second baseman Hector Lorenzana (San Diego, Calif.) got the ball rolling for the OU lineup with a solo home run to left field to turn the inning over to the top of the order with just one out in a two-run game. The Sooners loaded the bases on two singles and a walk to set up a two-run, game-tying single through the right side by junior catcher Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas). Redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh (Broken Arrow, Okla.), who walked scored from second by sliding around the tag at home off a throw that was up the third base line.
With two runners in scoring position, freshman first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) ripped a double to the left-center alley that brought in both runners and gave Oklahoma its first lead of the day, 8-6. The runs continued to pile up for the Sooners as sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) and Lorenzana added RBI singles.
Redshirt-junior right-hander Robert Tasin (Klein, Texas) was the first reliever called on out of the OU bullpen. Despite allowing a two-run home run to right fielder Adam Toth in the fourth, he was able to settle in and put some zeroes on the scoreboard to put himself in line for the win. Ultimately, Tasin (4-4) pitched five innings and surrendered just the two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out a pair.
Sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) recorded the first four-hit game of his career with a 4-for-5 performance. He scored twice, doubled and tripled. Aikin, Neuse (3-for-5) and Hermelyn (4-for-5) were each one hit away from the cycle with each playing needing a different variation of an extra-base hit.
“We saved it all up for one day, didn’t we?” added Hughes. “It was a great day to hit. That’s for sure. The wind is blowing out, the sun is out, and we took advantage of it. I thought we had a good approach against a pretty talented freshman arm. We were pretty disciplined in our early at-bats against that guy, and that allowed us to get in their bullpen and that was our game plan going in.”
Baylor struck early for two runs in both the first and second innings against sophomore left-handed starter Jacob Evans (Broken Arrow, Okla.). Evans was chased after allowing four runs on five hits.
The Sooners stuck around by answering with one in the first and two in the second. Hermelyn led off the second with his first career triple and score on a base hit up the middle by Haley. Oklahoma cut the lead to one on a triple to left-center by Aikin, his second extra-base hit in as many innings.
Lefty Daniel Castano (5-3) took the loss in a 3.1-inning start for the Bears. He was tagged for nine runs on 12 hits and a walk. Toth finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in.
The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. Sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. (New Braunfels, Texas) will get the start after making a brief relief appearance in the opener on Friday night. The game will also be the final home game of the season and “Senior Day” as Oklahoma will honor its graduating student-athletes; Lorenzana, Kyle Hayes, Drew Krittenbrink, Kindle Ladd, and Dylan Neal.