The University of Oklahoma baseball team picked up a doubleheader sweep of Austin Peay by scores of 11-3 and 4-1 at Raymond C. Hand Park on Thursday. The Sooners improved to 28-24-1 overall while the Governors fell to 27-20. The two teams are off tomorrow with the series finale scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 11:30 am.
Despite playing out of conference this weekend, OU clinched the five-seed in next week’s Big 12 Championship with a Baylor win over Texas in Austin on Thursday evening.
In the opener, Oklahoma went in front for good with a four-run fourth inning and pulled away with six more runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Sooners, which initially got on the board with a solo home run from junior catcherRenae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.)in the third, plated four on just two hits in the fourth with a bases-loaded walk and a bases-clearing double by freshman third baseman Cade Harris (Leona, Texas).
Oklahoma got four-straight hits to start the top of the seventh as Harris got it going with his second hit of the day. Junior center fielder Ben Hollas(Longview, Texas) drove him in with a double banged off the wall in left-center. Freshman shortstop Thomas Hughes (Norman, Okla.) singled up the middle to drive in Hollas and freshman left fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) followed with a two-run jack to right.
Hughes entered the game as a defensive replacement for the bottom of the sixth as junior Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) was removed from the game after hitting his head on the ground on a play at second base.
Freshman right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) went six innings in the start for the Sooners. He struck and five and walked two. Irvin (6-1) allowed two runs, only one earned, on four hits. Right-hander and designated hitter Alex Robles (9-5) took the loss for Austin Peay. He allowed five runs on four hits and six walks with six strikeouts in five innings of work.
Junior right-hander Alec Hansen (Loveland, Colo.) got the start for Oklahoma in game two. He worked out of trouble with two strikeouts in the first after issuing a pair of walks to start the game. Hansen stranded two more runners in the third and left a man in scoring position in the fourth.
The fifth started with a triple by Austin Peay shortstop Clayton Smithson off the center field wall. He came in to score the game-tying run on a balk by Hansen, who then struck out each of the next three to send the Sooners back to the plate.
Harris hit a leadoff-double for OU in the top of the sixth and soon crossed the plate with the go-ahead run. Hughes laid down a sacrifice-bunt up the third base line and the throw to first was high and Harris scored. Walker then followed with his second two-run home run of the doubleheader to push the Sooner lead to 4-1.
Hansen (2-5) earned his second win in his last three starts with a six-inning outing. He struck out 10 and scattered three hits and walks with one run against him. Right-hander Caleb Powell went just five innings for the Governors in a no-decision with one run against him on four hits and five strikeouts. Lefty Zach Neff (1-6) was the pitcher of record on the short-end with three runs, two earned, charged to him on four hits in three innings with three strikeouts.
Junior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) pitched the final three innings in relief of Hansen to earn his fourth save of the season. He kept Austin Peay off the board and was helped out by two groundball-double plays as he scattered five hits with one strikeout.
Senior right fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.), who had a 13-game hit streak snapped in the opener, went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI in game two. Harris combined to for 3-for-8 with three RBI and two runs in the doubleheader and Walker went 3-for-8 with four RBI and two runs on a pair of two-run home runs.