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Weekend Baseball Thread | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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Sooners Fall 8-6 In Finale

Oklahoma failed in their attempt to secure the first weekend sweep of their season due to a late rally from Rutgers. The culprit in Sunday's 8-6 loss was the Sooner bullpen which gave up five runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

OU got off to a rough start when Rutgers scored three runs in the top of the first but the Sooners were able to settle in and get two back in the bottom half of the inning. They were able to tie up the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the second when a Hunter Haley sacrifice scored Mac James.

After three scoreless innings, it appeared as if Oklahoma was about to take control of the game in the bottom of the 6th when an RBI single by Niko Buentello that scored James, for the second time in the game, was followed up by an RBI sacrifice by Hector Lorenzana that scored Haley. With a 5-3 lead the Sooners were three innings away from their fifth consecutive win.

Things quickly unraveled for the Sooners though as Rutgers would take Oklahoma's bullpen to task over the next two innings. Jacob Evans came in to relieve starter Jake Elliott, who was on track to pick up his second win of the year, and gave up three runs in the top of the seventh. Drew Krittenbrink came in for relief and didn't fare much better by giving up two more runs in the 8th, extending their lead to 8-6.

Oklahoma loaded the bases, with just one out, in the bottom of the ninth but their rally fell short with back-to-back pop ups by Haley and Buentello.

Perhaps overlooked in the loss was another outstanding performance by Mac James who went 4-for-4 from the plate. He crossed home plate three times and belted a seventh inning home run.

The loss drops Oklahoma's season record to 11-5. They are on the road this Tuesday night when they play UTA in the Texas Rangers' Ballpark at Arlington. They'll be back home in Norman next weekend for a three-game series against Belmont. That series will start a stretch of eight consecutive home games for the Sooners.

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Baseball Game Thread | OU vs Rutgers Game Three

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The Sooners are trying to push their winning streak to five games in a row and sweep a weekend series for the first time this season.


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Baseball Sound Bytes | Sooners Talk Rutgers Wins

Up first Keach Ballard talks the difference between game one and game two offensively. Talks about his big eighth inning hit and the team rally.

Click the play button to hear player and coach interviews

Adam Choplick talks about his performance in game two.

Craig Aikin talks about finding ways to win, his improved hitting from last season to this year, and his speed, emotion of the rally and Ralph Garza Jr.

Coach Hughes talks about believing in his guys, Keach Ballard, Adam Choplick, and overcoming errors.

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Sooners Rally To Take Series Against Rutgers

The wheels were falling off in a bad way for Oklahoma baseball on Friday night and the outlook was bleak. After Adam Choplick pitched 6.2 scoreless innings the Sooners saw their 1-0 lead evaporate when Vinny Zarrillo scored off a Brian O'Grady single. The Scarlet Knights added two more in the seventh and two again in the eighth to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

With their backs firmly against the wall, the Sooners went to work in the bottom half of the inning with their rally caps on. Niko Buentello led off with a double to center field and then, two batters later, Hunter Haley reached base on a fielding error, advancing Buentello to third. Mac James, the fourth batter of the inning, doubled down the right field line to bring Buentello home for Oklahoma's first run since the fifth inning. Taylor Alspaugh then doubled to left-center to score both James and Haley, drawing the Sooners to within 5-4 of the Scarlet Knights. Following a Hector Lorenzana walk, Keach Ballard produced the third double of the inning for the Sooners to score Alspaugh and tie the game.

Friday's Big XII Baseball Scores

Oklahoma State

6

San Diego

5

Stillwater, Okla.

Kansas State

3

Iowa

2

Manhattan, Kan.

Oklahoma

16

Rutgers

11

Norman, Okla.

Oklahoma

7

Rutgers

5

Norman, Okla.

Texas

3

Hawai'i

2

Austin, Texas

Texas Tech

15

New Mexico State

2

Lubbock, Texas

TCU

1

Michigan State

2

Fort Worth, Texas

Oklahoma State

6

San Diego

10

Stillwater, Okla.

Baylor

0

Cal State Fullerton

11

Waco, Texas

Stanford

2

Kansas

4

Palo Alto, Calif.

Rutgers tried a pitching change to stop the bleeding but Craig Aikin bounced a Gaby Rosa pitch off the right-center field wall to score Lorenzana and Ballard for the final two runs of the inning. The Sooners would post their six runs in the eighth inning off five hits and one Rutgers error.

"I felt like that might have been the dagger right there but I also knew we weren't done," Aikin said about his 8th inning triple. "It was all those guys before me that were battling 0-2, Alspaugh's double, you know, they just kept the inning alive. We just keep passing the bat and we put it (the rally) together."

Aikin ended up tied with Alspaugh for a team-high 2 RBI in the second game. His go ahead triple was his only hit in the doubleheader finale. Mac James and Alspaugh were the only two Sooners to record multiple hits in the game.

Starter Adam Choplick pitched well enough to have deserved the win but he left the mound with the Sooners trailing and therefore won't get it. He fanned six Rutgers batters and gave up just two runs on two hits through his 6.2 innings of work. The win was credited to Kyle Hayes who pitched the eighth, allowing just a single hit and striking out two.

Ralph Garza, Jr pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his third save of the year. Friday was his 9th appearance of the season which is the most among Big XII pitchers.

The Sooners will go for their first series sweep of the season on Sunday in the finale of the series. The two teams will take Saturday off because of weather. Oklahoma has now won four games in a row.

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Sooners Vs. Scarlet Knights Game Two Thread

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Sooners Record Tenth Win Of Season In Slug Fest

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Hits came early and often in Oklahoma's first game against Rutgers on Friday afternoon, and so did runs. After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the second the Sooners responded by posting six runs across the plate themselves. The two teams would exchange a run in the third and then Oklahoma took full control of the contest in the fourth when they outscored the Scarlet Knights 3-0.

The game may have been a pitcher's nightmare but it was certainly a hitter's delight. Oklahoma burned through four pitchers and Rutgers matched them. Corey Copping improved his record to 3-0 on the year but it was far from his best performance of the season. Entering the game with a 0.00 ERA, Copping threw 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out two. He was relieved by Robert Tasin who gave up three runs in 1.1 innings. Jeffrey Curran pitched two-thirds of an inning before giving way to Drew Krittenbrink who finished the game. Krittenbrink recorded his first save of the season by going 2.2 innings. He allowed three runs on four hits but Oklahoma's offensive output was more than enough to cushion the blow.

Craig Aikin, Hunter Haley and Mac James all produced a three-hit game for Oklahoma while every player in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Haley, James and Buentello also produced three RBIs each with Buentello providing the hit of the game in the 2nd inning. With the Sooners leading 4-3 in the bottom of the second, Buentello took a 1-0 pitch and sent it over the right-center field wall, well past the 411 foot mark, for a two-run homer.

The win was Oklahoma's tenth of the season and their third in a row.

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Sooners Vs. Scarlet Knights Game One Thread

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