If there was any worry about a letdown after Wichita State snapped OU’s 12-game win streak on Tuesday, the Sooners put that to rest with a dominant weekend performance over the Buffalo Bulls.
The series started a day earlier than usual in a wild Thursday night affair. Jake Irvin, who’d been racking up huge strikeout totals all season, took the mound and proceeded to have his worst start of the year so far for OU, lasting just five innings and giving up 8 hits and 5 runs. He struck out five one week after a 14 K outing.
Braden Minor and Braidyn Fink were unable to record an out between them and gave up another 5 runs in the 6th inning before Nathan Wiles mercifully relieved them, tossing 4 complete innings to pick up the save.
Though the pitching staff struggled on Friday, the OU bats more than made up for it. Oklahoma’s 11-run first inning could have won the game all by itself. A parade of singles followed by an Austin O’Brien home run made it 4-0 OU. Blake Brewster and Brylie Ware added two-baggers, and the Sooners totaled 11 hits in the inning, chasing Buffalo starter Alec Touhy before the frame was over. The Sooners won the game 16-10.
Oklahoma held on for a taut 1-0 victory in the first half of the Friday doubleheader, a Quin Walbergh single driving in Jack Flansburg in the 6th for the only run of the game.
In the nightcap, OU’s offense revived and its pitching staff stayed hot in an 11-0 trouncing. Devon Perez, in his first start of the year, went 6 innings and gave up 4 hits while striking out 9. Looks like he’ll be firmly in the weekend mix from here on out.
The #Sooners pitched back-to-back shutouts yesterday for the first time since the 2013 Big 12 Tourney. pic.twitter.com/mJDD2WrpKN— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) March 11, 2017
Despite the the brutal weather — which had caused the team to reschedule its doubleheader, originally planned for Saturday — Oklahoma avoided a letdown and finished the sweep with a 5-1 win during Bark in the Park day on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Ryan Madden went 6.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
DH Brylie Ware (2-3, BB) and catcher Renae Martinez (2-3, run scored) had a good Saturday at the plate for OU.
The series sweep moves Oklahoma to 17-2, an outstanding start for Pete Hughes’s squad in a make-or-break season. The Sooners return to action on Tuesday, taking on Georgia Tech in Atlanta at 5 p.m.