NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 17-ranked University of Oklahoma baseball team secured its second shutout in three games after it blanked New Mexico State, 8-0, Tuesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park, improving to 13-4 on the year.
"I'm pleased with the win, of course, but, more importantly, I see our team getting better," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "I see our young guys starting to see the importance of bunting the ball and manufacturing runs, and I thought we did that. I continue to be impressed with the mental toughness of all of our young players. That is maturity beyond their years as freshmen"
OU pounded out at least 10 hits in a game for the 10th time this season. Junior infielder Matt Oberste went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, extending his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games dating back to the 2012 season. The streak ranks as the sixth-longest in school history and is the longest since Aaron Baker hit safely in 22 straight in 2007. Senior infielder Garrett Carey cracked a double and a single, drove in three runs and scored another.
Freshman righty Ralph Garza Jr. tossed 4.1 relief innings and fanned a career-high five to earn the pitching victory and improve to 2-0 on the season.
"What we wanted to do was give Ralph an opportunity to go out and just absorb some innings," said Golloway. "He's been in so many critical situations early on this year, it was nice to just give him some innings to work and get better instead of everything being live and die with each pitch types of situations. Having a 2-0 lead and having him keep them right there at zero was really big."
OU jumped out to a quick 1-0 advantage when senior infielder Jack Mayfield was hit by a pitch and later scored on an RBI groundout by Carey in the bottom of the first inning.
The Sooners extended their edge to 2-0 in the third as senior outfielder/infielder Max White was hit by a pitch with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit to center by Oberste.
Oklahoma busted the contest open with a four spot in the in the sixth. Freshman infielder Kolbey Carpenter got things rolling with a leadoff double to left center. Freshman outfielder Hunter Haley put runners on the corners for OU with a bunt single. One out later, freshman outfielder Craig Aikin lifted a sacrifice fly to center, allowing Carpenter to tag up and score. White plated Haley with a single to make it 4-0 in favor of the Sooners. After Oberste coaxed an intentional walk, Carey doubled home White and Oberste to give OU a 6-0 advantage.
The Sooners plated their final two insurance runs in the eighth. Oberste sent a leadoff single through the right side, and Carey followed a double to left to put two men in scoring position with no outs. Junior catcher Dylan Neal capitalized with a two-RBI base hit.
Oklahoma will close out a two-game homestand against the Aggies with another game tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised live on FOX College Sports.
OU inspires champions today and prepares leaders for tomorrow by enabling its student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. The OU Athletics Department sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes and is completely self-supporting.
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