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Sooners Rally Past South Florida Again

One thing is for sure, the South Florida Bulls came to the Sooner Classic this weekend looking to pull an upset and they almost did, twice. Thursday afternoon OU had to score three runs in the final two innings to stay perfect at home and Saturday afternoon the Sooners held on when the Bulls scored two in the top of the 7th to tie the game and scored one run of their own in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead for good.

The game was a pitching duel through the first five innings before things got interesting in the 6th. OU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when a Caleb Bushyhead sacrifice fly to center field scored Kaleb Herren. From that point on, Oklahoma's Bobby Shore and USF's Andrew Barbosa were virtually untouchable through the first five frames. Shore faced 27 batters through the first 6.2 innings, striking out 7 and only allowing 6 hits. Barbosa faced 26 batters in the first 6.2 innings, striking out 7 and only allowing 4 hits.

Junior Carlin and Ryan Lockwood tripled in back-to-back at bats for South Florida, scoring Carlin and tying the game in the top of the 6th. Then Oklahoma's Chris Ellison hit a one out solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to put the Sooners back up 2-1. Garrett Buechele followed that up with another solo home run two batters later to give OU their biggest lead of the day, 3-1, going into the top of the 7th.

South Florida's Chad Taylor hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 7th to tie the game again bringing an end to Bobby Shore's afternoon. Barbosa's afternoon ended after two outs in the bottom of the 7th after he walked Ricky Eisenberg and Bryan Groth back-to-back but Oklahoma was unable to capitalize because Ray Delphey got Tyler Ogle to ground out to 3rd base.

Jeremy Erben started the 8th inning on the mound for the Sooners and retired all three batters he faced. In the bottom of the 8th Oklahoma's Ross Hubbard struck out swinging on a wild pitch but was able to advance all the way to 3rd base after the catcher dropped the ball, followed by two throwing errors. Eric Ross came in as a pinch runner for Hubbard and then scored the game winning run on the next pitch, which was Ray Delphey's second in a row. Delphey struck out Buechele and Kaleb Herrin after that wild pitch but the damage was already done and the Sooners had regained a one run lead, 4-3. 

Oklahoma turned to closer Ryan Duke in the top of the 9th and he gained his fifth save of the season, in as many tries, by retiring the side. Erben's one inning of work earned him his third win of the year.

Oklahoma closes out the Sooner Classic Sunday afternoon with against Stephen F. Austin. First pitch is at 3:00pm.