Rubber match slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday on KREF 1400 AM
April 9, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Casey Johnson had three hits and four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the second, as No. 7 Oklahoma cruised to a 14-3 victory over Kansas State on Saturday to even the series at one.
Johnson was a double away from the cycle after he tripled in the seventh to give OU an 8-2 lead and helped improve the Sooners’ record to 24-7 and 6-4 in Big 12 play. KSU fell to 17-12 overall and 3-8 in conference action.
“I thought we came back with an attitude today,” said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway. “I was really proud of our team. We wanted to set it up so that we still have an opportunity to win the series, and we’ve put ourselves in that position.”
The offense came alive for 14 runs off 14 hits, including the eighth multi-homer game of the season after Cameron Seitzer’s three-run job in the fifth, just one night after being shut out in the series opener on Friday. Seitzer finished with three hits and three RBI.
“Both home runs were really big. I thought the way Casey approached it all day long, against right-handers and left-handers, was pretty special. Anytime you see glimpses of that hitter from the past after an injury, its very pleasing, so I am really proud of Casey and his approach.”
Oklahoma jumped on top early as Johnson belted a two-run homer to left field for a 3-0 Sooner advantage. One batter earlier, Evan Mistich’s RBI single up the middle plated Tyler Ogle to give OU a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, KSU cut into the lead with a solo homer off the bat of Mike Kindel. Besides an RBI single from Nick Martini, who extended his streak of reaching base safely to 89 games, the Wildcats’ offense was held at bay.
Caleb Bushyhead pushed OU’s lead back to three runs with a RBI single in the fifth. The base knock plated Ricky Eisenberg who ripped a one-out double down the left-field line. The RBI single by Bushyhead was followed by a three-run homer by Seitzer that cleared the fence in left field and ended the start for KSU’s Matt Applegate.
Applegate (3-2) lasted 4 2/3 innings and surrendered seven runs off seven hits.
While offense stole the show, OU’s Burch Smith (5-2) put together his second longest outing as a Sooner with seven innings and a career-high 107 pitches. Smith allowed two runs off six hits while striking out six Wildcats.
“I thought he was really good,” added Golloway. “The best thing about that, after I take him out after the seventh, he’s coming to me and he wants more, and that’s very pleasing. I told him if the game was closer, I’d keep him in the ball game.”
The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium. The game can be heard on the Sooner Sports Network, KREF 1400 AM. The rubber match will decided the best-of-three series for the seventh straight year and ninth time since 1997.