In a series deciding game, the Oklahoma Sooners took control early behind back to back homeruns. The first came by way of a Mac James two run blast and was quick followed by a Hunter Haley solo shot on the next pitch. It marks the second time OU has hit back to back homers this season (the first coming against Seton Hall on February 15th). Both HRs came with two outs on the board.
While their opponent, the West Virginia Mountaineers, have been successful offensively all season, the liability has been the bullpen. Attempting to get the WVU coaching staff to dip into the bullpen early, Niko Buentello added a fourth run in the second off a Craig Aikin single before a double play ended the inning. Leading 4-0 heading into the third, Oklahoma looked to be in control of this game and series.
Making a bid to score in the top of the third, the Mountaineers were cut short as Haley gunned down Taylor Munden at the plate.
Hunter Haley throws out Munden at home. https://t.co/s0gXZE2jk1
— CC Machine (@CCMachine) April 19, 2014
Jacob Evans threw some of his best stuff to date holding the bats of the Mountaineers at bay for nearly six innings. As the pitch count went up, it became apparent Evans was tiring. Facing eight batters toward the end of his day, Evans gave up six hits including a three run blast by Cameron O'Brien as WVU pulled to within one run.
Throwing a career high 5.2 innings with 4Ks, Evans did enough to help the Sooners to a 4-3 lead after six innings. However, the fun was just getting started for the Mountaineers. After putting Kindle Ladd and Ralph Garza Jr. on the mound, Oklahoma surrendered six additional runs for a total of nine, all unanswered.
Needless to say, the rhythm of the game had been disrupted while OU lost all momentum. Poor base running became the theme en route to a series loss. Oklahoma was able to add one run in the ninth after Austin O'Brien doubled as the lead-off hitter. A sac-fly by Colbey Carpenter brought O'Brien in before the rally was cut short.
Final from Norman, 9-5 West Virginia. The Sooners will return to action at home against UT-Arlington on Tuesday.