Oklahoma Baseball: Sooners Still Kicking With Win Over Kansas State


Down to what could have been the final Oklahoma baseball game of the season, the Sooners came alive offensively for a 13-7 win on Thursday over Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship.

Facing elimination in this year’s postseason conference tournament, Oklahoma gave no signs it was ready to pack it in for the season. The Sooners, the five seed in the tournament, exploded for a combined 10 runs in the second and third innings to build a comfortable early cushion, and then held off a late charge by the Wildcats to post the victory and stave off elimination in the first game of the second round at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

With virtually no chance of making the postseason, the win means the Sooners, now 26-24-1 on the season, remain alive for at least one more game in the 2016 season.

Kansas State drew first blood on a two-out, two-run single in the first inning by catcher Tyler Moore after Oklahoma pitcher Alec Hansen hit the first two K-State batters he faced. That put the Wildcats up 2-0, but the two-run advantage was very brief.

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The Sooners scored four times in the top half of the second and then added six more in the third, the big hit coming on a bases-clearing triple by OU right fielder Alex Ross.

The Wildcats rallied for four runs in their half of the seventh to narrow the Sooner lead to 10-6, but that was as close as the Cats would get. OU scored three more times in the ninth to put the game away for good.

The Sooner offense, which was shut out 6-0 on Wednesday in the tournament curtain-raiser and held to just two hits by stellar West Virginia pitching, was very efficient against Kansas State. Four Oklahoma hitters had two hits apiece as the Sooners scored 13 times on 13 hits and left just five runners stranded.

Designated hitter Steele Walker, first baseman Austin O’Brien. left fielder Cody Thomas and Wise all had two hits as all nine OU batters in the starting lineup hit safely in the game.

Hansen, a junior right-hander, went six innings for the Sooners to pick up the win. He gave up four runs on three hits and struck out seven K-State hitters.

This is the third time in the past four years that OU has gone up against Kansas State in an elimination game in the conference tournament.

Oklahoma will next face the loser of the second-round game between No. 1 seed Texas Tech and No. 4 West Virginia, on Friday afternoon.