Oklahoma and Purdue went toe to toe on Sunday afternoon in Norman and the result was staggering. A total of 23 runs were scored, off 27 hits, and the two teams burned through a combined eleven pitchers. At least one run was scored in each of the first eight innings and Oklahoma was left to fend off a frantic Purdue rally to preserve the win and take the series.
The Sooners struck first when a one-out single by Anthony Hermelyn scored Craig Aikin in the bottom of the opening frame. The Boilermakers came back to post two runs in the top of the second off a Kyle Jonson and then the track meet of hitting and scoring was on.
Trailing 2-1 heading to the bottom of the third, Oklahoma plated three runners off of two home runs. Sheldon Neuse sent a solo shot over the left field wall and then Hunter Haley sent a two run blast to right.
The Boilermakers got one back in the top of the fourth but OU would add three more in the bottom half thanks to back-to-back RBI singles by Neuse and Hermelyn. The Sooners then exploded for five runs in the fifth due in large part to a grand slam hit to right field by Taylor Alspaugh. A solo home run by Austin O'Brien in the bottom of the sixth capped the scoring for Oklahoma and seemed to put the game out of reach with a 13-4 lead.
Purdue wouldn't go away though. The Boilermakers posted a single run in the seventh, when Michael Vilardo came home on a Kyle Wood sacrifice, and then produced their own five run inning in the eighth to pull within the final of 13-10.
Things got uncomfortably close in the ninth with Purdue getting two runners on board but a pop out by Vilardo ended the threat and gave the Sooners a two games to one series win.
Neuse had yet another big game, going 3-for-4 from the plate and scoring twice with 2 RBI, but it was Haley's four run dinger that proved to be the fatal blow.
Senior Robert Tasin was the third pitcher to take the mound for OU and picked up the win, his third of the year, after pitching just 1.2 innings. Oklahoma head coach Pete Hughes went to his bullpen four times on the afternoon and the staff produced eleven punch outs.
Boilermakers starter Matt Frawley entered the day with just a 1.93 ERA but was blasted for seven runs off eight hits in just 3.2 innings of work. It may have been too late by the time Purdue skipper Doug Schreiber reached into his bullpen. The five relievers that took the mound for the Boilermakers, combined, gave up one less run and one less hit than the starter Frawley was charged with.
The Sooners are back home again on Tuesday night to host Oral Roberts. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
* Craig Aikin was 2-for-3 from the plate to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
* Sheldon Neuse's conference leading RBI count is up to 22
* Alspaugh's home run was his first of the season and first ever career grand slam.
* Oklahoma had four home runs in the game which was the sixth time this season that they've produced multiple home run games.