Sooners Notch First Win of Tech 3-Game Series
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:18 pm
News On 6
Originally Published: Apr 1, 2011 9:48 PM CDTStephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma Sooners (20-6, 3-3) may have missed an the opportunity to face Arkansas earlier this week, but that didn’t hinder Oklahoma’s fast and furious start to a three-game series against Texas Tech.
“We were kind of pumped about that game, actually. Arkansas is a great team and we think it would have been a good test for us,” designated hitter Evan Mistich said.
Despite missing the Razorbacks, the Sooners notched an impressive 10-1 win over the Red Raiders Friday night. Head Coach Sunny Golloway’s continued to tweak his lineup, making some subtle -- and some noticeable -- changes as the season progresses.
“Our job is to be the best team that we can be by the end of the year,” Golloway said after Thursday’s practice.
Those changes include relying heavily on new-man Evan Mistich’s ability at the plate to help OU drive in scores, and pulling Jack Mayfield from shortstop and putting him back on the mound. Mayfield didn’t pitch the first game, but team captain Michael Rocha found his rhythm, throwing a complete game, allowing only three hits in the 33 batters he faced.
He improved to 6-0 on the season, striking out five in the Sooners’ first series win against Tech. Rocha gave up his lone run of the game in the top of the first. Tech’s Jamodrick McGruder hit a single to right center field. Rocha then struck out Barrett Barnes, but McGruder stole second. Kelby Tomlinson field out to left center field for the innings’ second out, but McGruder scored on the next at-bat when teammate Stephen Hagen drove in a RBI for the 1-0 early lead.
The Sooners answered back in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs, including a two-run homer by Chris Ellison. While the Red Raiders’ bats went cold, the Sooners continued to heat up, as they put up three more runs in the third to take a 7-1 lead.
Tech’s struggles continued in the bottom of the fifth, when Oklahoma put up two additional runs. Max White reached first on a throwing error by Tomlinson at shortstop, and CalebBushyhead reached first on the next at-bat off an error by second baseman Reid Redman. Casey Johnson singled to right field, driving in both Bushyhead and White.
The Red Raiders committed two errors, giving up two runs on two hits. The Sooners pegged on one more run in the bottom of the seventh for the decisive win to open the series.
The two teams will face each other again Saturday, for the second game of the three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown at 7 p.m.