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Weekend Baseball Game Thread: #16 Oklahoma At New Mexico

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Radio: KREF 1400 AM
Game 1: Friday March 2nd - 6:00 p.m. CST
Game 2: Saturday March 3rd - 5:30 p.m. CST
Game 3: Sunday March 4th - 1:00 pm. CST

Series Preview

Sooners Get The Sweep With 4-0 Win In Game Three: Jonathan Gray picked up his first win of the season and the Oklahoma Sooners picked up their second series sweep in as many weekends. Oklahoma's offense made solid contact once again, stringing out four runs from a dozen hits but also had multiple runners thrown out after they had already reached base. Erik Ross and Garrett Carey were the only Sooners to record multiple hits with three each, Ross also had an RBI as did Max White, Hunter Lockwood and Evan Mistich.

The story of the day though was Oklahoma's pitching. After waiting all weekend to see who Oklahoma's Sunday pitcher would be Jonathan Gray was named the starter once again and it was assumed that he would be on a short leash. Gray made the most of the opportunity by pitching a season best five shutout innings. During that time he gave up just four hits and walked three while also striking out two. Jordan John took the mound at the top of the sixth and delivered a masterful relief performance by allowing no runs and just one hit while facing 13 batters over the final four innings of the game.

Oklahoma's record now stands at 7-3 which is the third best record in the conference. The Sooners play a two-game midweek series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Eugene, Oregon to play in the Nike Showcase over the weekend.

Big XII Sunday Scoreboard

Lamar 8, Baylor 7

Texas Tech 10, Houston 4

Oklahoma 4, New Mexico 0 (Series: 3-0 OU)

Texas A&M 9, Michigan State 8 (Series: 3-0 A&M)

TCU 6, Oklahoma State 5 (Series: 2-1 TCU)

Missouri 9, Ball State 2 (Series: 2-1 MZ)

Kansas State 9, Pacific University 3 (Series: 2-1 KSU)

Gonzaga 7, Kansas 2

Arkansas 7, Texas 3

Offense Comes To Life In 10-5 Game Two Win: One of the missing aspects of Oklahoma's offensive punch came to life Saturday evening in the form of Cody Reine who was 4-for-4 from the plate with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored. It was exactly the kind of performance that the Sooners needed to compliment hot hitting freshman Hunter Lockwood and take the burden off of a struggling pitching staff.

Starter Steven Okert struggled in the first inning when he gave up two runs, after hitting a batter and walking another, to put the Sooners in a 2-1 hole after the first frame. Oklahoma tied the game in the top of the second when Max White knocked in Reine on a double to left center field. From that point on Okert was spectacular in that he only allowed two hits while striking out four batters and holding New Mexico scoreless over the next five innings to improve is season record to 2-0.

In the same time frame the Sooners plated seven more runs to blow the game wide open thanks to offensive outbursts in the fourth and fifth innings. Jack Mayfield got things going in the fourth with a triple and then scored when Garrett Carey singled on the next at bat. Reine then doubled to right field to score Carey and then crossed the plate himself when Max White singled up the middle to give Oklahoma a 3-run inning.

Evan Mistich scored in the top of the fifth on a Carey single and then Reine powered a three run blast over the right field wall to put the Sooners up 9-2. Figuring his lead was safe Sunny Galloway put in Damien Magnifico to close the game out and things once again got interesting but not so much as to ever put the game in jeopardy. Magnifico gave up four hits and three runs over the final three innings and Oklahoma added an insurance run in the top of the 8th to provide the final score of 10-5. The Sooner offense produced 15 hits to go along with their 10 runs.

The question now is, can the Sooners keep their offensive momentum going? Oklahoma's has won the series against New Mexico and will be going for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Its still uncertain who the Sunday pitcher will be but my speculation is that it will be Jordan John. First pitch in game three is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Big XII Saturday Scoreboard

Baylor 6, UC Irvine 1

Oklahoma 10, New Mexico 5 (Series: 2-0 OU)

Tennessee 5, Texas 4

Lafayette 8, Kansas 6

Kansas State 12, Pacific University 1 (Series: 1-1)

Texas A&M 4, Michigan State 0 (Series 2-0 A&M)

Lamar 8, Baylor 0

TCU 2, Oklahoma State 0 (Series: 1-1)

Missouri 15, Ball State 5 (Series: 1-1)

Sooners Survive Game One, 7-6: To say that it was a wild game would be a strong understatement but as Jordan said in the game thread, at least it was a win and not a tragic meltdown of a loss. The Sooners got off to a terrific start to the game by scoring five runs off five hits in the first inning and held a somewhat commanding 5-2 lead at the end of the first frame. At the onset it looked like OU had solved their offensive woes in just one inning of work in Albuquerque but that just wasn't the case. The Sooners didn't plate another runner again until the fourth inning when Tanner Toal scored on an Erik Ross bunt.

Oklahoma just couldn't keep New Mexico at a safe distance and Josh Melendez triple in the bottom of the sixth set up some drama. His hit scored Kyle Stiner to make it a 6-3 game in favor of the Sooners but a 9th inning meltdown was on the way. With the score remaining the same OU starter Dillon Overton was looking for a complete game performance and nearly got it. He started off the final inning by striking out Erik Suarez but then followed it up by giving up a single and then walking the next batter. With runners on first and second Overton then struck out Ben Woodchick to leave him just one out away from the complete game. That's when the madness began!

Skipper Sunny Galloway decided to bring in closer Damien Magnifico to get the save and the move completely backfired. Wild Thang walked Chris Nunez to load the bases and then gave up a 2 RBI single to DJ Peterson that brought the Lobos to within 6-5. Magnifico was then pulled for Jordan John who saw the game tying run score on a catcher's interference call (this was later ruled a balk) before finally getting that elusive third out by striking out Melendez.

With the game now in an extra innings Oklahoma's offense went back to work...sort of. Garrett Carey started the inning off by reaching first on a throwing error and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Max White. Jack Mayfield then knocked in the go ahead run with an RBI single up the middle.

John made quick work of New Mexico in the bottom of the 10th by retiring the side and giving Oklahoma a 1-0 series lead with a 7-6 win. It was the third win of the season for John who now has a 3-1 record, remarkably with no starts.

Offensively Hunter Lockwood was moved from behind the plate to the DH role and had possibly his worst performance of the season by striking out in three of four plate appearance. Tanner Toal who did get the start at catcher recorded a team high three hits and 2 RBIs (also a team high). Matt Oberste who has a .360 average and 6 RBIs on the season did not play.

Game two in the series is set for a 5:30 start this evening.

Big XII Friday Night Scoreboard

Texas 11, Rice 8

Oklahoma 7, New Mexico 6

Oklahoma State 4, TCU 3

Texas A&M 7, Michigan State 3

Ball State 5, Missouri 2

UTSA 7, Kansas 4

Baylor 4, UC Irvine 2

Pacific University 7, Kansas State 2

Arkansas 3, Texas Tech 1