The University of Oklahoma baseball team closed out the regular season with a 17-7 loss to Austin Peay at Raymond C. Hand Park on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners, who earned the five-seed in the Big 12 Championship, head towards next week’s tournament with a 28-25-1 overall record.
The Governors (28-21) put crooked numbers on the scoreboard six consecutive frames and scored in each inning after leaving the bases loaded in the first, including a six-run fourth. Center fielder Patrick Massoni led the Austin Peay offense with a six-hit day, including three doubles. Lefty Michael Costanzo (7-4) went five innings to earn the win and had a no-hitter broken up in the fifth on a leadoff, solo home run by OU junior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.).
Costanzo allowed four runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. For OU, freshman right-hander Dylan Grove (Oklahoma City) took the hill for three innings in the start. Grove (2-1) surrendered four runs on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts.
The Sooner bats came to life in the fifth, starting with O’Brien’s fourth home run of the season. Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) followed with a hard single up the middle and scored on a RBI-double from junior designated hitter Cody Thomas(Colleyville, Texas) off the base of the wall in center. Junior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) then wrapped a double around the third base bag to chase in Thomas. Martinez then stole third and scored on an infield-single off the bat of junior center fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas).
The Governors responded with two runs in the fifth, after sending 11 to the plate for six runs in the fourth. Trailing by eight, Oklahoma would get two aboard in the sixth with one down before an inning-ending double play thwarted the threat. Austin Peay pushed its lead back to 10, which it had at 10- after the fourth, with a two-run home run by right fielder Ridge Smith to lead the game, 14-4.
In the top of the seventh, the Sooners loaded the bases with no outs on a Thomas infield-single and a pair of walks. Hollas brought in one run with a sacrifice-fly and freshman shortstop Thomas Hughes (Norman, Okla.) added a two-run double laced down the right field line.
For the game, the Governors battered 19 hits to Oklahoma’s eight. Massoni finished 6-for-6 with four RBI and four others added two-hit days, including designated hitter Wesley Purcell at 2-for-5 with a two-run double.
The Sooners move on to the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma will take on fourth-seeded West Virginia. The start time is yet to be announced.