Oklahoma baseball rewind: Sooner bats hammer West Virginia in series clinching win

Ball State baseball split a four-game series with Ohio at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark from May 13-15, 2022.
Ball State baseball split a four-game series with Ohio at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark from May 13-15, 2022. /

It was the final home series of the season for Oklahoma baseball and the Sooners made the most of it.

The Sooners (31-18, 13-8) broke open a close game with a pair of five-run innings in the fourth and fifth on the way to a 17-7 run-rule victory over West Virginia at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Sunday. The two teams had split the first two game of the series. The win gave OU a fourth straight Big 12 series win and the fifth in seven conference series this season.

Oklahoma now has sole possession of fourth place in the Big 12 standings with a huge series at third-place Texas Tech coming up this weekend to close out the regular season.

The Sooners erased a 1-0 West Virginia lead after one inning with home runs by Tanner Tredaway and Brett Squires in the second to go up 3-1. West Virginia knocked OU starter Cade Horton out of the game with a four-run fourth, but the Sooners responded in kind, scoring five runs in the bottom of the inning to take a commanding 8-6 advantage.

And that was just the beginning of Oklahoma’s offensive explosion, The Sooners added five more runs in the fifth inning. Wallace Clark singled to left center, went to third on a single by Squires and stole home for the first run of the inning. OU scored four more times, extending the lead to 13 to 7.

Right-handed reliver Michael Trevin entered the game in the fifth inning and finished it out for the Sooners. He allowed just one run on two hits and struck out five in earning his fourth win of the season to go with one loss.

Oklahoma opened up the series with another big offensive game. The Sooners scored 15 runs on 14 hits, putting away the visiting Mountaineers early behind a lockdown pitching performance by starter Jake Bennett. The sophomore left-hander went six strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits and fanning seven. Three OU pitchers held West Virginia to just three hits in a 15-1 Sooner runaway.

Third baseman Wallace Clark drove in four runs for Oklahoma in Friday’s series opener on a pair of singles and a bases-loaded walk and Squires accounted for three runs on a double and a foul out to left field.

West Virginia won the middle game of the series 9-8, but the contest wasn’t decided until the final OU out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Mountaineers opened up the scoring, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. The advantage was short-lived, however, as Tredaway slugged a three-run homer in the bottom half of the third, his fifth of the season, to put the Sooners up 3-2.

West Virginia led 5-3 going into the seventh inning. The Mountaineers scored twice in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead. Peyton Graham blasted a two-run homer in the bottom half of the inning to narrow the West Virginia advantage to 7-5. It was Graham’s 13th four-bagger of the season.

Both teams scored a run in the eighth to make it 8-6 Mountaineers heading to the final frame. The Mountaineers got two runs across in the top half of the ninth to widen the lead to 9-6.

The Sooners rallied in the bottom of the ninth. First baseman Blake Robertson doubled home Tredaway. Squires pinch hit for Jackson Nicklaus and brought home Graham from third to bring OU within one run of the Mountaineers at 9-8. With the tying run on third base and two outs, catcher Jimmy Crooks grounded out to second base to end the game.

Junior David Sandlin started the game for Oklahoma on Saturday and took the loss. His record dropped to 5-3. He worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. He struck out six and didn’t allow a walk.

The West Virginia win on Saturday set up Sunday’s rubber game in the series.

Oklahoma will close out the regular season with a game on Monday at Wichita State before traveling to Lubbock, Texas, for a weekend series against Texas Tech.