Sheldon Neuse knocked his third home run of the season, and Alex Wise worked his way around the bases, in the top of the first to post a 2-0 lead over Wichita State in the first inning, but it wouldn't last long.
The Shockers would take advantage of erratic pitching, from Oklahoma freshman Kyle Tyler, in the top of the second to plate Gunnar Troutwine, who had reached by on a hit-by-pitch, to pull to within a run in the top of the second. Mikel Mucha led off the third, for the Shockers, with a single to shallow center and then tied the game at 2-2 when he came home on a double to the right field corner by Luke Ritter.
The Sooners would respond in the bottom half of the third, thanks to another big hit from Neuse. After Jack Flansburg led off with a walk Neuse brought him home with a triple to the right-center field wall. Steele Walker would knock in Neuse with a sacrifice and put Oklahoma back in front 4-2. The two teams would swap goose eggs over the final five and a half frames as Oklahoma clung to what would be the final score.
Starter Kyle Tyler and reliever Austin Hansen struck out four batter each in a combined five innings of work but they also walked three and seven batters respectively. While Hansen was credited with the win it was junior JB Olson who was the most impressive hurler for the Sooners. Olson tossed four innings and struck out five of the fifteen batters that he faced while allowing just three hits. "I just wanted to come in and pound the zone," Olson said after the game, referring to putting the ball over the plate and trusting the defense. It was a plan that worked to perfection as Olson and Hansen combined to keep the Shockers off the board for the final six and two thirds inning.
"I wanted to get off to a clean start, defensively, and we did that," Coach Pete Hughes said about Oklahoma's first inning, "and I wanted to win the first inning." The Sooners definitely seemed a bit more relaxed playing from in front and possibly the most important thing is they answered when Wichita State tied the game in the top of the third. This is a young team (Hughes started six freshman against the Shockers) and with youth comes the necessity to learn to win. It appears they are heading in that direction.
Oklahoma continues it's home stand this weekend with a three-game series against Long Beach State.