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Sooners Drop Opener To Baylor Despite Gray's 10 Strikeouts

For seven of the eight innings that he pitched on Friday night Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray was exceptional. The problem was, he got off to a rough start (by his standards) in the first and it ended up haunting the Sooners for eight innings. After getting Logan Brown to pop to start the bottom of the first, Gray gave up a single to Lawton Langford and then walked Nathan Orf in back-to-back at bats. It looked like he may have survive the inning when he struck out Cal Towey but then Grayson Porter would send a single into left field to score Langford.

Friday Night's Big 12 Baseball Scores



Kansas State


Iowa City, Iowa






Lawrence, Kan.

12 INN



West Virginia


Lynchburg, Va.




Oklahoma State


Fort Worth, Texas






Waco, Texas


From that point on Gray entered into a complete different universe. After giving up a single to Steve DalPorto in the second, Gray retired sixteen consecutive Baylor batters before walking Jake Miller in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out 10 and gave up just four hits in a performance that could have earned him his fourth Pitcher of the Week award. However, that 1-0 lead, established in the first by the Bears hung over the Sooners like a 1,000 pound weight as Baylor's Dillon Newman was unrelenting from the mound. Aided by five strikeouts, he retired the Sooners in order in five of the nine innings, keeping OU off the board through eight innings.

Finally in the ninth Oklahoma got to Newman and was able to tie the game when Craig Aikin's single to right scored Hunter Haley. Max White then came to the plate and singled as well to give Oklahoma runners on first and second with just one out. Baylor went to the pen and brought in Crayton Bare who retired Matt Oberste and struck out Kolby Carpenter, leaving the Sooners in need of extra innings to complete the rally.

Extras would never happen though as Sunny Golloway made the decision to replace a red hot Gray with Jake Fisher to start the bottom of the ninth. Baylor's lead-off batter, Towey, sent the third offering from Fisher over the right field wall for a walk-off home run to end the game. You can't help but question Golloway's decision as Gray had been in control for seven solid innings and never showed signs of losing it.

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The loss puts Oklahoma is an unfamiliar situation as they've lost the opening game of the series for just the first time this season. The Sooners will look to Dillon Overton on Saturday to tie the series and then will have to rely on a Sunday staff that's been shaky the last couple of weeks to win the series. That's the long road ahead for Oklahoma this weekend, as Baylor pulled to within one game of a first place tie, but this team has proven themselves over and again this season.

Game two is set for a 3:00 start on Saturday afternoon.