OU Baseball Beats Kansas To Advance To Big 12 Semis

Top-seeded Oklahoma advanced to Friday's semifinals at the Big 12 Championship with a 7-5 win over seven-seed Kansas Thursday afternoon.

Friday, May 24th 2024, 10:23 pm

By: Soonersports.com , OU Athletics


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Top-seeded Oklahoma advanced to Friday's semifinals at the Big 12 Championship with a 7-5 win over seven-seed Kansas Thursday afternoon.

The Sooners rallied from an early two-run deficit and a season-high seven errors to earn their 10th victory of the last 11 games. 

A two-run, go-ahead home run from freshman Jaxon Willits in the fourth pushed the Sooners in front before OU added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. 

On the mound, starting RHP Kyson Witherspoon worked four innings without surrendering an earned run, striking out six. Senior Carter Campbell got the win in relief, hurling three scoreless, hitless innings with one walk to improve to an undefeated 4-0 on the year. 

OU jumped in front in the first courtesy of a sacrifice fly from sophomore Easton Carmichael after a leadoff single from junior John Spikerman

Kansas answered with three unearned runs at the top of the second off one hit and three OU miscues. Witherspoon limited the damage by stranding the bases loaded, his first of two escapes with the bases juiced. 

The Sooners got one in the home half of the second on an RBI single from junior catcher Scott Mudler. The Jayhawks got the run back in the third on an RBI single to push their lead back to two through three. 

At the top of the fourth, after walking the bases loaded, Witherspoon struck out the side to get out of the jam. The final strikeout took 12 pitches before the sophomore righty got Kansas' Ty Wisdom looking. 

OU took advantage of the scoreless top half from KU, putting up three runs on three hits at the bottom of the fourth. After a leadoff double from senior Kendall Pettis and another RBI single from Mudler, Willits launched his ninth home run of his frosh campaign to deep right center to give OU the lead. 

A scoreless fifth and sixth ensued as Campbell retired six straight. To the seventh, OU added insurance via an RBI triple from senior Michael Snyder after a leadoff triple from Carmichael. Junior Jackson Nicklaus plated OU's other run of the frame on an RBI triple, a half inning after the Sooner second baseman made an exceptional play in the field, catching a flyout in shallow right and doubling up a runner at home.

OU right-handed relievers Dylan Crooks and Malachi Witherspoon secured the win for OU, combining to close the game in the eighth and ninth with just one KU run allowed on two hits. 

M. Witherspoon earned his fourth save of the season by stranding two, including the tying run. 

Pettis paced OU at the plate with a 3-for-4 showing, while Willits, Carmichael, Nicklaus and Mudler all had two-hit days. Willits and Mudler each brought in a pair to lead OU. 

The Sooners registered 14 hits in the contest, their 34th game of OU's 54 with double-digit hits. 

All five KU runs were unearned, as the Sooners have yet to surrender an earned run at the tournament through two games following Wednesday's 4-0 shutout over TCU. 

OU advances to a 12:30 p.m. CT semifinal matchup Friday with the winner of Friday morning's elimination game between nine-seed TCU and seven-seed Kansas. The two semifinal matchups are single elimination. The championship game is Saturday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU

Friday's semifinal can be seen via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and heard locally in Oklahoma on SportsTalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM or nationwide on The Varsity app.

Tickets for the tournament can be purchase via Big12Sports.com or at the gates at Globe Life Field.

For updates and more information on Oklahoma baseball, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Baseball) and like Oklahoma Baseball on Facebook.

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