Oklahoma baseball rewind: Sooners use long ball to win series over Baylor

Mission Oak's Nathaniel Sunderland bunts against Tulare Western in baseball at Rawhide Stadium on Friday, March 25, 2022.
Mission Oak's Nathaniel Sunderland bunts against Tulare Western in baseball at Rawhide Stadium on Friday, March 25, 2022. /

A solid pitching performance in the series opener combined with the long ball in both games one and two allowed the Oklahoma baseball Sooners to take two of three games and win the weekend series with Baylor.

The Sooners finished out a long 12-game homestand at L. Dale Mitchell Park with a 9-3 record after falling to Baylor 16-8 in the series finale on Sunday.

Oklahoma (14-8, 2-1) fell behind early in the game on Sunday when Baylor opened up the game scoring three first-inning runs. The Sooners fought back to tie the contest at 7-7 after five innings but could manage just one more run the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the Bears (12-11, 2-4) scored nine runs on six hits over the final four innings, aided by four Oklahoma errors, to double up the Sooners 16-8.

Jake Bennett started game one on Friday, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking just one batter. Seven different Sooners collected all seven of OU’s hits in the game, including solo home runs by right fielder Trent Brown and designated hitter Max McGuire in the second and third innings, respectively, in a 5-3 Oklahoma win.

The Sooners waited till late in the middle game of the series on Saturday to show much life on offense. Oklahoma faced a 5-1 deficit when the Sooners came to bat in the home half of the eighth inning. With two outs and the bases full, Tanner Tredaway cleared the bases with a game-tying grand slam to draw the Sooners even a 5-5.

One inning later, OU worked the bases filled once again, this time with no outs. That’s when Peyton Graham stepped into one and replicated Tredaway’s blast with a walk-off grand slam of own down the left field line and inside the foul pole. Scoring eight runs in the final two innings, the Sooners turned a 5-1 deficit into a dramatic 9-5 win to clinch the series win.

David Sandlin started for Oklahoma on Saturday and worked five innings, but the win went to Ben Abram (1-0), who worked the last two innings in relief.

Sunday’s finale was a much different story. Oklahoma catcher Jimmy Crooks and Graham both went yard on Sunday and Tredaway was three of four at the plate with three RBI, but it was far too little to overcome a 14-hit Baylor attack. Redshirt sophomore Chazz Martinez started the game and was followed after 4 2/3 innings by six Sooner relievers. Carson Atwood (2-3) was charged with the loss.

This week is rivalry week for the Sooners. They will be in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday for a nonconference contest with in-state rival Oklahoma State, and over the weekend they will be in Austin for a Red River Baseball Showdown against the Texas Longhorns.