Baseball takes game one of Oklahoma series, 4-3
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 9 Texas beat No. 17 Oklahoma for the 14th consecutive time on the turf at UFCU Disch-Falk Field as the Longhorns posted a 4-3 win over the Sooners in Big 12 Conference action Friday evening at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Four pitchers combined to allow three runs on eight hits and one walk for the Longhorns. James Russell (6-2) earned the win as he allowed two runs on six hits while striking out seven over 5.2 innings. Randy Boone pitched 1.1 innings, giving up one hit while striking out two, to earn his conference-leading eighth save of the season.
The offensive highlight of the evening was Kyle Russell hitting his NCAA Division I-leading 17th home run of the season. The home run was also noteworthy because he delivered it over the centerfield fence, becoming just the 32nd player to hit a tater over the "Monster" at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
As they have done most of the season, Texas scored in the second inning. Russell Moldenhauer was hit by a pitch. He was replaced at first base on a fielder's choice grounder by Preston Clark. Josh Prince followed with a single to push Clark to third and Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two outs, Chance Wheeless plated Clark with a bunt single down the third base line. Texas is now out scoring opponents 42-5 in the second inning this season.
Oklahoma's Joseph Hughes hit his first home run of the season to leadoff the third inning, tying the game at 1-1.
Texas (24-7, 6-1 Big 12) regained the lead in the bottom half of the third. Bradley Suttle hit a leadoff double to the wall in right centerfield. Kyle Russell followed with a single to rightfield to put runners at the corners. After Moldenhauer walked to load the bases, Clark grounded into an RBI fielder's choice, staking Texas to a 2-1 lead.
Oklahoma (20-8, 2-2 Big 12) responded with a run in the fourth to tie the game again. With two outs, Aaron Baker singled to leftfield, and Jackson Williams doubled off of third base to put runners at second and third. Aaron Ivey hit a single of James Russell's meat hand to drive in Baker with the equalizer.
After Russell hit his home run in the fifth, Texas tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. Jordan Danks hit a leadoff single, stole second base, moved to third on groundout to short by Suttle and scored on a balk by OU's starter Stephen Porlier, to inflate the UT cushion to 4-2.
The Sooners mounted a late comeback attempt in the eighth inning. With one out, Aaron Reza singled off Pat McCrory. Keith Shinaberry replaced McCrory to face OU slugger Joe Dunigan and retired him with a strikeout on four pitches. Boone replaced Shinaberry and yielded a wild pitch and a single by Devin Shepherd which plated Reza to trim the lead to 4-3. Boone settled in and retired Baker with a soft groundout to first base to end the eighth and cruised through the ninth unscathed for the save.
Porlier was saddled with the loss for Oklahoma. He yielded four runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out four over seven innings.
Wheeless, Russell and Suttle each had two hits for Texas.
Texas and Oklahoma continue the three-game series Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.