The Oklahoma Sooners won their first series in a month on Sunday, topping West Virginia 7-4 in 10 innings and moving to 30-16 (8-7 Big 12) on the season.
Oklahoma blew a four-run lead by allowing two runs each in the sixth and seventh, and it looked like the team’s tough run might continue. Oklahoma had split the first two games of the series with a 4-2 loss on Saturday afternoon — to finish the Friday night game that was delayed due to lightning — and a 3-1 win that night.
Austin O’Brien got the Sunday scoring started in the second with a solo shot to left center, followed shortly by a Kyle Mendenhall RBI single to right that plated Ben Hollas and Brylie Ware. When Ware led off the sixth by blasting a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall, putting OU up 4-0, it looked like the Sooners would cruise to the rubber game victory.
But West Virginia finally got to Sooners starter Devon Perez in the bottom half of that inning, cutting the deficit in half with a two-run homer from first baseman Jackson Cramer. In the seventh, facing relievers Vincenzo Aiello and J.B. Olson, WVU dinked and dunked its way to another two runs.
Olson, though, combined with Connor Berry to keep West Virginia off the board for the rest of the game. Because of a travel curfew, it was pre-determined that no inning could start after 2:45 p.m. local time, and the two teams were running up against it when the ninth inning began. But WVU flew out to end the 9th at 2:44, allowing for one more inning and the chance to crown a winner.
OU took advantage. With a little luck — a Steele Walker fly ball got lost in the clouds and dropped in center — the Sooners loaded the bases with just one down. Singles from Hollas and Thomas Hughes and a Brandon Zaragoza sac fly netted OU three runs and led to a relatively stress-free bottom of the 10th, which Berry handled quickly.
The victory gave Oklahoma its first series win since Texas Tech, and not a moment too soon. At that time, OU looked like it would be hosting a regional. It has since slipped to the bubble, a likely three seed on selection day. But WVU is a good team with a great RPI, and winning a series in Morgantown will give Oklahoma a huge boost and send it back in the right direction.
The Sooners return to action in Manhattan on Friday night for a series against Kansas State. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.