Oklahoma Baseball: Sooner Bats Come to Life in Pair of Blowout Wins


After a 9-3 home loss on Friday to Kansas State, it appeared the Oklahoma baseball season might be over sooner rather than later.

But that was then and this is now. The Sooners (24-23-1, 6-12) rebounded from the Friday loss, outscoring the K-State nine by a combined 22-1 in posting back-to-back Saturday/Sunday victories over the same Wildcat team. The two wins all but clinched a spot for the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship May 25-29 in nearby Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma followed up a 10-1 victory over the Wildcats (24-25, 6-12) on Saturday with a 12-0 shutout win in the run-rule-shortened series finale on Sunday.

Only eight of the ten conference teams earn a spot in the Big 12 postseason tournament, and coming into the final home series against Kansas State, a spot for the Sooners looked anything but certain.

With a game and a half lead over Baylor and Kansas State in the league standings and having won the season series over both schools, the Sooners have locked up no worse than a No. 8 seed in the conference tournament.

“If you get runs on the board it helps on the mound…That was what he needed.” –Sooner head coach Pete Hughes on pitcher Alec Hansen’s first win of the season

If the season were to end today, OU would face top-seed Texas Tech in the first game of the double-elimination tournament. The Red Raiders swept the Oklahoma this season, winning all three game in Lubbock by a combined score of 24-8.

The Sooners put Sunday’s series and home finale out of reach early, scoring five times in the second inning and following that with a four-spot in the third. Meanwhile, junior right-handed starter Alec Hansen shut down the K-State offense, holding the Wildcats to just two hits and recording nine strikeouts over six innings in picking up his first win of the season after four losses.

Oklahoma pounded out 13 hits off of four Kansas State pitchers, with three each coming from first baseman Austin O’Brien and left fielder Cody Thomas.

In commending Hansen’s brilliant outing in his postgame press conference, Oklahoma head coach Pete Hughes said, “I keep saying it, but if you get runs on the board it helps on the mound. It helps (Hansen) getting settled in and becomes less worrisome. That’s what he needed.”

Here is a breakdown of OU’s series win over K-State by the numbers:

0Alec Hansen on Sunday became the third OU pitcher this season to take a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

1 – OU’s 9-3 loss in Friday night’s series opener marked the first time this season the Sooners have lost the first game in a series at home.

3 – First baseman Austin O’Brien had three hits in Sunday’s 12-0 OU victory. It was the fourth time this season he has posted three hits in a game.

4 – Number of shutouts thrown by Oklahoma pitchers this season.

5 – In the second inning of the series finale on Sunday, OU hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run) with five hits, including two home runs.

7 – Freshman Jake Irvin, the Sooner winning pitcher in Saturday’s 10-1 Oklahoma win went a career-high seven innings. He is the fourth OU pitcher to last seven innings in a game this season.

10 – Junior shortstop Sheldon Neuse hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season on Sunday. he now has 23 for his career.

11 – Double-digit wins recorded by the Sooners this season.

35 – Number of game this season in which Oklahoma has had at least three freshman in its starting lineup.

41 – Oklahoma hit three home runs on Sunday, raising its HR total for the season to 41. that is the most since 2011.