March 17, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - The Texas Longhorns offense pounded out 15 hits, including three triples, to register a 9-5 win over the No. 22 Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 Conference baseball action at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Saturday afternoon.
The win, coupled with Friday night's 12-inning, 7-6 victory, guaranteed the Longhorns their 14th consecutive regular-season series triumph over the Sooners. The last time Texas dropped a series from Oklahoma was 1998.
The Longhorns continued their hot hitting in the series. After pounding out a season-high 17 hits in the Friday night affair, Texas registered 15 hits, including three triples, on Saturday. Texas is hitting .368 in the series, including three doubles, three triples and one home run.
Erich Weiss led Texas at the plate going 4-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and one triple. Mark Payton went 3-for-5 with two runs. Jonathan Walsh, Jacob Felts and Jordan Etier added two hits apiece. Etier paced the team with three RBI.
Oklahoma (11-8, 0-2 Big 12) pounced on the Longhorns with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Erik Ross drew a leadoff walk, Jack Mayfield was hit by a pitch and Max White reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Evan Mistich bounced into a fielder's choice putout at second, plating Ross for the 1-0 lead. The inning ended on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play with Caleb Bushyhead striking out swinging and Mayfield thrown trying to steal home.
The Sooners loaded the bases with no outs again in the second inning, but Chase Simpson grounded into a fielder's choice with first baseman Alex Silver going to home for the putout. With the bases still saturated, Ross lined back to the mound and Texas starter Ricky Jacquez snared the ball and tossed to third base for the inning-ending double play.
Texas (9-8, 2-0 Big 12) staked claim to a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Etier was issued a leadoff walk and was replaced at first base by Tim Maitland after a fielder's choice groundout. The inning appeared to fizzle when Maitland was thrown out at third after the catcher's attempt to nab him stealing second base bounced into centerfield. Payton breathed new life into the inning with a single to right field and Weiss hit a wall-banger to centerfield for an RBI triple, knotting the game at 1-1. Texas took its first lead of the game when Oklahoma starter Jonathan Gray uncorked a wild pitch allowing Weiss to score from third.
The Longhorns added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, Alex Silver drew a walk and Felts singled just out of the reach of a diving Sooners' leftfielder to put runners at first and second. Etier tripled into the gap in right centerfield to plate both runners and inflate the cushion to 4-1.
Oklahoma bounced back in the home half of the fourth to tack on three runs to tie the game at 4-4. Cody Reine singled through the right side of the infield and Tanner Toal was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Austin Dicharry relieved Jacquez on the mound and induced a flyout by Simpson. Ross laced a single through the right side of the infield, driving in Reine and cutting the Texas lead to 4-2. After Ross stole second base to put two runners in scoring position, Max White delivered an equalizer, knocking a 3-1 offering into rightfield for a two-run single.
The Longhorns reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth. Payton singled up the middle and Weiss singled to right centerfield to put runners at the corners. A fielder's choice wiped Payton off the bases, but put Walsh at second and Weiss at third. Brooks Marlow grounded out to shortstop with one out, knocking in Weiss for the go-ahead run and Texas led 5-4.
The cavalcade of runs continued for the burnt orange in the fifth. With one out, Felts reached on a throwing error by the Sooners' third baseman, stole second base and scored on a single by Etier through the right side of the infield, giving the Longhorns a 6-4 led.
Texas added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Walsh hit a leadoff triple to the gap in left centerfield and scored on a sacrifice fly by Marlow. With two outs, Silver doubled to left centerfield, moved to third on a balk and scored on a single to rightfield by Felts, giving Texas an 8-4 lead.
The Sooners trimmed the lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Mistich singled to leftfield and Bushyhead doubled down the rightfield line to put two runners in scoring position. Garrett Carey hit a sacrifice fly to leftfield plating Mistich for the lone run of the inning.
The Longhorns scored in their sixth consecutive inning in the eighth. Payton hit a leadoff single and advanced to second when the Sooners' centerfielder booted the ball. Weiss singled through the right side of the infield to give Texas a 9-5 advantage.
Jacquez labored through 3.0-plus innings of work. He yielded three runs on two hits, four walks and two hit batters while striking out one. Dicharry worked one inning, allowing one run on two hits. Hoby Milner (3-3) earned his second win of the series. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out two over 3.0 innings. Corey Knebel worked two innings in a non-save situation. He allowed one hit and one walk in two shutout frames.
Gray (2-3) was saddled with the loss for the Sooners. He yielded five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two over 4.1 innings.
Ross, Bushyhead and Reine logged two hits apiece for Oklahoma.
Texas goes for the series sweep on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against the Sooners at L. Dale Mitchell Park.