Rally Falls Short As Sooners Drop 6-5 Decision To Mavs

The last time Oklahoma and UT Arlington played a game of baseball it turned into a dramatic, extra inning affair in Arlington, with the Sooners winning it 3-2 in the tenth.

This time around the drama came in the bottom of the fifth when Oklahoma shortstop Hector Lorenzana was ejected after exchanging words and the shoving UTA third-baseman Brady Cox.

As for the game itself, it was pretty uneventful, once again, until the latter innings. Oklahoma took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Craig Aikin scored on a Mac James single into center field. James was the third Sooner to reach base in the first but Aikin was the only one to make it around.

The inability to move runners would end up haunting OU as they would watch their lead shrivel away and a deficit grow. A two-out RBI single by Ryan Bottger, scoring Matt Shortall, tied the game in the top of the third, and then the Mavericks took the lead on a Shortall single to left, scoring Travis Sibley, in the top of the fifth.

A solo home run by J.M Twichell pushed UTA to a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth. The Mavericks made it three consecutive innings with a run scored in the seventh when Bottger recorded another RBI by scoring Eric Tate on a single to center.

The Mavericks built their 4-1 lead through the first seven innings by out hitting Oklahoma 11-3. They extended their lead to 6-1 in the top of the eighth, but this time the Sooners had an answer. Hunter Haley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to pull OU to within 6-2, and then the Sooners cut the UTA lead in half on a Anthony Hermelyn single that scored Taylor Alspaugh.

With the game on the line, the Sooners loaded the bases again in the bottom of the ninth. A Sheldon Neuse single to right field scored Keach Ballard and Craig Aikin to put Oklahoma to within 6-5. Mac James then moved Alspaugh and Neuse to second and third on a sacrifice, setting up Hunter Haley against Colin Thornberg for the final out.

This time the battle would go to UTA as Thronberg got Haley to pop out to shallow left, ending the game.

Oklahoma now sets their sights on Lubbock, Texas and their series against Texas Tech. The Sooners have dropped five of their last six conference games and are needing to pick up a series win in a big way. Center fielder Craig Aiking says there's no extra pressure though. "We don't add any more pressure to ourselves," Ake said after the game, "...it's hard enough as it is. I think being young is huge for us because we don't know any different."

Coach Hughes was somber after the loss, knowing that his team had come literally within inches of mustering the runs needed to win. "If we hit the ball anywhere in the infield it turns into a double-play," he said. Oklahoma was victimized by three double-plays on the night and left nine runners stranded.

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