Shaking off a rough start, the Oklahoma Sooners won their second consecutive game in Surprise, AZ on Friday night by taking down Santa Clara. It wasn't easy, and at times it wasn't pretty, but at the end of the day it as Oklahoma's seventh win of the season.
The Broncos took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and would hold on to it until the third inning. Craig Aikin led off the frame by drawing a walk and then tied the game when Hunter Haley doubled to left-center field. Haley would then give Oklahoma the lead when he scored off a Niko Buentello double two batters later and then the Sooners never looked back.
Haley would come around the bases again in the fourth, along with Kolby Carpenter, to increase Oklahoma's lead to 4-1 and then the Sooners would add an insurance run in the 8th when Mac James scored on an Aikin sacrifice.
Not going away quietly, Santa Clara narrowed the game to 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth on a three-run blast by Casev Munoz. With the pressure on, Oklahoma answered by putting three runs on the board in the top of the ninth to push them back to a four-run lead.
"For a young team we did a good job at not panicking and just running our offense", coach Pete Hughes said about his team's performance.
Sooner starter Adam Choplick got the win to improve his season record to 2-1. "He beat them with his fast ball tonight," Hughes said about starter Adam Choplick. At one point in the game, Choplick sat down thirteen consecutive Broncos batters. His final stat line read, 6.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 run, six strike outs in 26 batters faced.
Kyle Hayes came in relief of Choplick and fanned two batters but was also responsible for the three-run home run in the bottom of the 8th. Closer Ralph Garza, Jr. didn't allow a hit and struck out one in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.
The Sooners were led offensively by Hunter Haley who went 3-of-4 from the plat, scoring twice and knocking in a run. "Hunter has been playing very well. He's been our most consistent guy", Huges said after the game. Haley was joined by Buentello, Anthony Hermelyn and Mac James in recording multiple hits for the game. Aikin and James also had multi RBIs. Oklahoma recorded a total of twelve hits and drew five walks in the game.
Up next for OU is the host Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday evening. First pitch in that game is scheduled for 5:00 CST.