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Oklahoma scored their runs in bunches on Sunday afternoon and it was more than enough to get them past a pesky Pepperdine team that had handed the Sooners their first loss of the season just the day before. Facing a rubber match for the first time on the season, OU proved to be more than ready for the challenge of entering into the weekend's final day with the series still in doubt.
Redshirt freshman Adam Choplick took to the mound and was spectacular. He went 5.1 innings and allowed just one run to score off four hits, while also striking out three batters. Junior hurler Billy Waltrip may have found his spot on the team as well on Sunday. The JUCO transfer, from Seminole State, came in and threw the final 3.2 innings for Oklahoma. During that time he struck out seven of the fourteen batters that he faced, allowing no runs and just one hit.
Pepperdine was first to put a run on the board when Austin Davidson came home on a Bryan Langlois double down the left field line in the top of the fourth. The Sooners quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning by plating five runs aided by Garrett Carey and Max White who both sent the ball out of the yard.
Sunday's Big 12 Baseball Scores
|Sun, Mar 03||Kansas||6||Eastern Michigan||11||Grand Prairie, Texas||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Kansas State||9||Oakland||2||Manhattan, Kan.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Jacksonville||0||TCU||13||Jacksonville, Fla.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Florida Atlantic||6||West Virginia||5||Coastal Carolina Tournament; Myrtle Beach, S.C.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Oklahoma State||3||UC Davis||4||Stillwater, Okla.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Texas Tech||7||La Salle||0||Lubbock, Texas||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Oklahoma||8||Pepperdine||1||Norman, Okla.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Stanford||2||Texas||1||Palo Alto, Calif.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Kansas State||13||Oakland||3||Manhattan, Kan.||-||
|Sun, Mar 03||Rice||2||Baylor||9||The Astros in Action College Classic; Houston, Texas||-||
The Sooners weren't finished with the long ball either. Jack Mayfield would cap off a three-run eighth inning with a solo shot home run over the left field wall. It would be the final score of the day for the Sooners, providing the final winning score of 8-1.
After playing nine of their first twelve games in Norman, Oklahoma heads to the road for their next four. That road trip begins on Tuesday night with a visit to Arlington, Texas to take on UTA.
|Game Three|| Sunday, March 3, 1 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX Sports Oklahoma Plus)
Oklahoma's loss to Pepperdine brought about a lot of firsts for this year's baseball team. It was their first loss of the season, their first time to never lead in a game, their first time to be held to just two runs, etc... It also marks the first time that the Sooners will go into a Sunday with a series still hanging in the balance.
The Waves took two of three games against Texas A&M, in College Station, last weekend and will now be gunning to do the same to the Sooners today. I guess a look at how Oklahoma handles adversity will be another first for the weekend as well.
It was bound to happen but that doesn't make it any less painful to see. Pepperdine got the best of Oklahoma's pitchers in the first and ninth innings to secure a 7-2 win and give the Sooners their first loss of the season.
Pepperdine's Nate Johnson hit a two-out, 2 RBI double in the top of the first to give the Waves the lead at the start. Oklahoma wouldn't answer until Matt Oberste scored on a Garrett Carey sacrifice in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 2-1. Oberste then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot home run over the left field wall but that would be it for Oklahoma's scoring.
The Sooners surrendered the lead back to Pepperdine in the next frame but were still within reach going into the final inning, trailing just 3-2. However, the ninth was when the wheels would fall off so to speak as the Waves put up four runs in order to get to the final of 7-2.
Jonathan Gray got tabbed for the loss after throwing six complete innings, allowing three runs on five hits while also striking out seven batters.
The rubber match game will be tomorrow at 1:00. Head coach Sunny Golloway announced that redshirt freshman Adam Choplick will get the start.
|Game Two||Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m. CT (TV/Webcast: None)|
Oklahoma moved to 10-0 on the season yesterday as a result of their 10-7 win over Pepperdine. Now they'll face the Waves in game two this afternoon in what could be the pitcher's duel that we missed out on yesterday. Today's game will be broadcast by KREF 1400 AM.
In the series preview I had pegged the opener of the Oklahoma/Pepperdine series as a pitcher's duel as both teams threw their aces on Friday. I couldn't have been more wrong and the seventeen runs scored further proved that.
Oklahoma has had the luxury of not needing to score very many runs when Dillon Overton was on the mound. The Sooner ace entered into Friday's game with a 0.56 ERA and a 3-0 record. He managed to improve that record to 4-0 but failed miserably in protecting his ERA. Overton gave up six runs off of six hits during his six innings of work in which he struggled to control his fastball. The four walks that he allowed were more than his previous three appearances together.
Friday's Big 12 Baseball Scores
Indiana 8, West Virginia 5
Baylor 9, California 0
Eastern Michigan 6, Kansas 4
Oklahoma State 4, UC Davis 2
Oklahoma 10, Pepperdine 7
Jacksonville 5, TCU 3
La Salle 6, Texas Tech 5
Standord 2, Texas 0This time the roles would be reversed as it would be Overton who needed to be bailed out by the offense. The Sooners struck first when Craig Aikin scored on a Max White sacrifice in the bottom of the first inning. However, it was the third inning that put Oklahoma in charge with a commanding lead. Matt Oberste's single into left field scored Aikin for the second time in the game. That run would be followed up by an onslaught of six other Sooners who would score in the inning, putting OU up by a margin of 8-0 at the end of the third frame.
Pepperdine didn't pack it up though. Instead, they attacked Oklahoma's ace and rocked him in the top of the fourth for a total of six runs to make the score 8-6. Overton survived the inning and pitched the fifth and sixth innings, keeping the Waves off the board and only facing seven batters. At the end of the day it would be his worst performance of the season but, in an amazing testament to his to his ability, he struck out ten batters without complete control of his fastball.
The Sooners added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to get their final total of 10 for the game. Pepperdine made it interesting again in the ninth with a two-out rally that scored Chris Amezquita but Robert Tasin picked up the save by getting Devin Carter to ground out to third-baseman Garrett Carey.
Oklahoma's 10-7 win preserved their perfect record on the season, and improved them to 10-0. They host Pepperdine again on Saturday afternoon at 2:00. The Sooners will be putting Jonathan Gray on the mound to throw against the Waves' Corey Miller.
The Sooners return to the field today for the first time since winning the Kleberg Classic on Sunday. Oklahoma will host Pepperdine for a three-game weekend series beginning this afternoon. The Sooners lost two of their three games against the Waves last season.
Backed by a perfect 9-0 record on the season, the Oklahoma Sooners were ranked as high as #10 in the nation this week. It was Collegiate Baseball who gave them that ranking but the USA Today poll (voted by the coaches) has them at #12, which is impressive as well. They'll put that ranking on the line this weekend against a Pepperdine team that is knocking on the door of the Top 25 after taking two of three games at Texas A&M last weekend.