Mid-Week games have been a struggle for Oklahoma in recent seasons and the Sooners are determined to turn that around. Arkansas-Little Rock came to Norman riding a four-game winning streak against OU but was sent packing with a 22-0 pounding from what has become a resurgent Sooner lineup.
Sheldon Neuse sent a 1-1 pitch past the berm in left field as Oklahoma's third batter of the game and the Sooners were in business. Craig Aikin led off the inning with a single and was followed by a Taylor Alspaugh walk to set up Neuse's trip around the bases a collection of three RBI.
Trojans starter Cameron Allen didn't make it through the second inning as Oklahoma led off with three consecutive singles, including an RBI by Aikin to move Oklahoma's lead to 4-0. By the time the fram drew to a close the Sooners had a total of seven runs and nine hits posted on the board.
Meanwhile Oklahoma starter Corey Copping was in a groove of his own. With multiple scouts in attendance of the day, the junior righty was rock solid. In five innings of work he held the Trojans scoreless on just three hits and fanned seven UARL batters.
Oklahoma added another run in the fourth when Neuse plated on an Anthony Hermelyn double. Then a Chris Shaw home run in the top of the fifth helped OU plate two and extend their lead to double figures at 10-0.
Junior Craig Aikin hit his first career home run as a Sooner in the bottom of the sixth. It was a three-run blast to right field that capped off a four run inning and started a slew of position changes that saw relief pitcher Jacob Evans play right field and record his first collegiate hit among other things.
When the final out in the top of the ninth was finally recorded Oklahoma had amassed 22 runs off 23 hits. Junior Craig Aikin set a school record by recording six hits and also knocked in six RBI, including his first ever collegiate home run, a three-run blast in the sixth.
"I wanted to come out and set the tone a little bit and say this is how we're going to handle mid-week games," Aikin said. "The last two years we've dropped some of those mid-week games that could have made a difference late. As soon as we smelled blood it was over."
Coach Hughes also recognized the importance of winning during the week and getting into the weekend on a positive note. "The good teams know how to play one way, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday," Hughes said. "Mid-Week really tells you what kind of guys you have. They run right through someone, they never stop, they don't know what day it is. They just want to win. Hopefully we can keep building on that.