Oklahoma sweeps No. 2 Baylor
Sooners hand Bears their first Big 12 losses of the season
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma completed a doubleheader sweep on Saturday with a 2-1 victory against No. 2 Baylor at home. The Sooners won in the 10th inning earlier in the day by a 1-0 score.
Both victories came behind solid starting pitching as Jordan John lasted 8 2/3 in the opener and Jonathan Gray followed with 7 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts and one unearned run allowed. Baylor entered the weekend as the league’s top hitting team.
“I think our pitching is right there with the best league and hopefully, it will keep showing up,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “We haven’t thrown Dillon Overton or Damien Magnifico yet. We still have one game to go.”
Gray did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and he kept Baylor scoreless with his seventh strikeout of the game to end the frame. He has lasted at least seven innings, including a career-high 7 1/3 innings Saturday, in each of his past two starts and combined for 16 strikeouts and two earned runs allowed.
The Sooners gave Gray an early lead and struck first with a RBI single by Max White that plated Cody Reine, who tripled earlier in the first inning. Reine had two of the Sooners’ six hits in game two and has five triples this season. All five have come in Big 12 play, a league best.
While White got the offense going early, OU took a 2-0 lead in the second as Caleb Bushyhead’s groundout to second base plated Jack Mayfield. The run was unearned as Mayfield moved to second on a failed pickoff by Baylor starter Trent Blank.
“We knew what he to do this weekend if we are going to have any kind of shot,” said White on the team’s postseason hopes. “Baylor has a great RPI, so these wins were big. Man, the pitchers were awesome.”
Baylor broke up the shutout and scored its first run of the series in the eighth inning off Gray. The run was unearned but knocked Gray out of the game in favor of Steven Okert.
Okert made his second relief appearance of the day after improving to 6-6 earlier with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He came right back in game two to record his third save of the year 1 2/3 perfect innings. Okert did not allow a hit in the second game of the doubleheader and posted three strikeouts. He threw 32 pitches in the doubleheader and 26 were strikes.
“I had a lot adrenaline rushing. I just felt that no matter what the team would have my back,” Okert said. “There was nothing to lose. We were .500 in the Big 12 [before Saturday]. They were undefeated. We just played are heart out and it ended well for us.”