Sooners Drop Series Opener To Texas In Extra Innings
The No. 26 University of Oklahoma baseball team erased an early six-run deficit, but ultimately fell to No. 7 Texas in extra innings, 10-8, before 2,011 fans at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night. The Sooners fell to 23-12 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12, while the Longhorns took over first place in the league at 27-8 and 7-3."It was really unique," assistant coach Mike Anderson said of the game. "Texas comes out and scores some runs and I was so proud of our kids for coming out and showing the resolve to get back into the game. The first three innings, there was a lot of emotion and I'll be honest, I thought our kids played it really, really well. I thought we were composed and we got ourselves back in it. The bad part is that we want to finish it. Getting back in it and fighting back in it, those are good things but they are disappointed and they should be. That's just part of it."Texas claimed a six-run lead in the top of the first inning on three hits, three walks and an error off OU right-hander Corey Copping (Temple City, Calif.). Copping pitched just 0.2 innings as he allowed all six unearned runs.The Sooner rally started in the bottom of the third when sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) hit a base hit through the right side that should have loaded the bases with one out, but an error in right sent in Oklahoma's first run of the game. A second run came in on an error as sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) hit a soft liner to short that was dropped.The lead was cut to three when freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) doubled to right field; driving in Aikin. With two outs, freshman designated hitter Niko Buentello (Lewisville, Texas) trimmed the lead to one with a two-run single up the middle.Head coach Pete Hughes was ejected by the second base umpire for arguing balls and strikes with the first base umpire after it was determined that junior catcher Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas) went around on a check swing. Facing a 0-1 count, James hit a double that touched the left field foul line and one-hopped the wall to score Buentello from second and tie the game, 6-6.In the fifth inning, Haley led off with a base hit through the right side, went to third on a double down the left field line by Neuse and scored on a fielding error as Neuse's doubled got past the left fielder. Sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn (McKinney, Texas) added to OU's lead with a sacrifice-fly; bringing in Neuse and giving the Sooners an 8-6 lead.Senior right-hander Kindle Ladd (McKinney, Texas) entered the game in the first for Oklahoma and proceeded to pitch five scoreless innings. He remained in the game to start the seventh, but was pulled after back-to-back doubles led off the innings. Ladd pitched 5.1 innings and surrendered two runs on three hits and two walks and took a no-decision as the tying run scored in the seventh.The two teams were scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. Shortstop C.J. Hinojosa led off the top of the 10th with his first home run of the season over the wall in left to give Texas the lead. The Longhorns loaded the bases with nobody out and added an insurance run with a walk.Sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. (New Braunfels, Texas) took his first loss of the season; dropping to 4-1. He pitched a scoreless ninth innings with two strikeouts, but allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the 10th. Right-hander Morgan Cooper (3-1) tossed three perfect innings to earn the win for the Longhorns as he struck out four. Right-hander John Curtis worked around a lead-off walk to pick up his fifth save of the season.
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