Sooners Win Series at Texas, Split Doubleheader
AUSTIN, Texas – The Oklahoma baseball team pounded out 13 runs en route to a 13-0, seven-inning win over Texas in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader before falling 6-4 in the nightcap at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The Sooners (33-21, 11-13 Big 12) clinched the series Friday afternoon with their largest margin of victory ever over the Longhorns (27-27, 7-16 Big 12). Levi Prater (7-4) struck out seven and allowed just three hits over 6.0 innings, pacing OU to its fifth shutout of the season. Third baseman Brylie Ware collected seven hits and six runs scored on Friday, homering in both games of the doubleheader.
Ware’s 4-for-4 effort in the opener led a barrage of four home runs and 15 hits in the run-rule victory. First baseman Tyler Hardman hit a three-run homer while second baseman Conor McKenna and catcher Brady Lindsly hit two-run homers for OU, which scored in each of the first five innings and added three runs in the seventh. McKenna went 3-for-4 and Hardman was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
“We played really well the last two days,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “When we score early like we did, it’s really big for us because the pitcher doesn’t feel like he has to go out and throw a zero up there. Prater had been sick for two days, and so had Ben (Abram). We didn’t know what we were going to get out of either of them, but we did a good job of filling the void of not getting four or five innings out of the starter in the second game.”
Tanner Tredaway singled and scored on an error in the first inning and McKenna hit a two-run home run in the second inning to make it 3-0. It was his second homer of the season. In the third, Hardman doubled and scored on a throwing error when Brady Harlan stole second. Harlan then scored on a double by Vujovich to extend the lead to 5-0.
OU plated four runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Justin Mitchell and Hardman’s three-run homer. It was his team-leading sixth of the season. Ware notched his fifth homer of the year to lead off the fifth inning and make the score 10-0. Lindsly matched him with five homers on a two-run blast in the seventh after Diego Muniz drew a bases-loaded walk, as OU increased its lead to 13-0.
With the wins Thursday night and Friday afternoon, the Sooners recorded back-to-back wins in a series against the Longhorns in Austin for the first time since 1997. OU has won three of the last four series against Texas played in Austin, dating back to 2013.
Texas took its first lead of the series in the first inning of the nightcap, as Oklahoma did not score in the first inning for the first time in the series. Trailing 5-0 in the top of the fourth, the Sooners plated two runs on an RBI single by Lindsly and a sacrifice fly by shortstop Brandon Zaragoza. Zaragoza drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh and Ware launched a solo home run in the ninth inning. Texas scored all six runs in the first four innings.
Ben Abram (6-4) took the loss in the nightcap while Texas reliever Tristan Stevens (3-2) earned the win. Ledgend Smith, Aaron Brooks, Zack Matthews, Wyatt Olds and Ryan Madden combined to keep UT scoreless over the final 4.2 frames.
Oklahoma will be back in action at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship next week at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. The bracket, including OU’s opponent and game time for Wednesday, will be announced after the conclusion of regular season on Sunday.