Clutch hitting is something that Oklahoma Baseball has come accustomed to from Kolbey Carpenter. The three-time conference player of the week is on a tear and is currently one of the hottest hitters in the nation. As the Sooners stepped out of conference play on Friday night to start a three-game series against Sam Houston State, it was Carpenter who once again delivered the death blow for one of OU's opponents.
The Bearkats came to Norman having won eight of their last nine games and twenty-two total wins on the season. Included in the notches on their belt is a 4-3 win at Baylor and a 5-0 win over Texas. You'd have to excuse Oklahoma for not taking this out of conference series lightly.
It was all business for Oklahoma as they plated Kolbey Carpenter in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Jake Elliott traded hits for outs as the Bearkats scattered four hits over the first four innings but Elliott also fanned four batters to leave multiple runners stranded.
Junior Craig Aikin slapped an infield single to lead off the fourth and then was advanced to second off an Anthony Hermelyn sacrifice. Following a Sheldon Neuse strikeout, Austin O'Brien sent the ball to the right field fence to score Aikin and move the lead to 2-0.
A two-out rally in the seventh brought the Bearkats back into the thick of it. A bases loaded single from Hayden Simerly scored two runs and brought an end to Elliott's scoreless inning streak that covered 17 innings and dated back to April 10th.
Sam Houston saw the tie vanish quickly in the bottom of the seventh as Carpenter sent his 8th home run of the season over the left field wall. It was the junior's sixth consecutive multi-hit game and continues a remarkable stretch that he's on. Although Sam Houston State would load the bases in the 9th closer Jacob Evans was able to fan two and get Spence Rahm to ground out to first to end the game.
"I'm just able to get hits," Carpenter said after the game. "I don't know what it is but it's just falling for me."
The win improved Oklahoma's season record to 29-16 with two games remaining against the Bearkats.