It was clear on Friday night that Oklahoma's north wind wasn't going to be anyone's friend as the Sooners and Jayhawks played the second game of their series. Every hit would stay in the park and many promising at bats died out mid-flight as they blew back down well shy of the outfield wall. While Oklahoma's Alec Hansen had enough velocity to keep Kansas at bay, OU struck for three runs in the bottom of the first, thanks in part to a two-RBI double by junior Alex Wise.
A pair of walks, an RBI single, and a passed ball helped Kansas get two back in the top of the second and the Sooners went down in order to keep things tight heading into the third but two strike outs from Alec Hansen and a tag out at first put a goose egg back up on the board for the Jahawks in the top of the third but, despite putting runners on the corners, OU couldn't put any further distance between them and Kansas.
Both teams would swap walks, hits, and outs until the bottom of the seventh when Oklahoma plated two more runs. Josh Ake led off the inning with a walk and was followed up by a Kolby Carpenter single. Both players would come home during the inning off the bats of Craig Aikin and Anthony Hermelyn to extend Oklahoma's lead to 5-2.
The Sooners added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with Carpenter knocking in Chris Shaw. "I feel good getting out there and being in the leadoff spot," Carpenter, who leads the team with six home runs, said following the game. "We had a big win last night and then to come out tonight, play well, and get the series win was really big of us."
Sophomore Alec Hansen picked up his fourth win of the season by going six innings, allowing just two runs while fanning nine batters but also giving up five walks. "I was a little frustrated with myself," he said after the game. "You know, five walks but I put our team in a position to win and I'm glad that we got the win."
Now the team turns their focus fully on sweeping the Jayhawks in this series. "Tomorrow is really important," Hansen added. "Especially since we lost two out of three to Baylor last weekend. We can make up lost ground." Friday's win pushed Oklahoma to 21-12 on the year and 5-3 in conference play. A sweep would put them at 6-3 which is a world of difference from the 5-4 mark a loss would bring. In addition, Oklahoma's next two Big 12 series are on the road. "We lost ground last week," Oklahoma head coach Pete Hughes said, "and then we're going on a road stretch here. You'd better take advantage of playing at home and finishing the job."
There's another reason for Oklahoma to knuckle down against Kansas and get the job done on Saturday. "I can't remember the last time we got a sweep in conference," Hughes added. "Not on my watch, so it's a big day for us tomorrow."