After earning a huge win against Texas on Thursday, the Oklahoma Sooners extended their stay in OKC once again with a 4-2 win over Kansas. The Sooners improved to 36-22 on the season with the win over the Jayhawks.
Kyler Tyler got the start and had a solid outing for OU, going 6.0 innings, striking out five batters and allowing three hits and two earned runs to improve his season record to 5-2. Taylor Turski took the loss at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, allowing four earned runs through 6.0 innings of work.
In the absence of Steele Walker and Kyler Murray, another pair of role players stepped up to the plate and played at a high level for this team. Freshman catcher Justin Mitchell went 2-4 with a triple and scored two of Oklahoma four runs, while Thomas Hughes (the son of former OU coach Pete Hughes) went 2-4 with an RBI double on Friday.
Senior Kyle Mendenhall also stepped up for the Sooners at the plate, driving in a pair of runs and upping his season total to 40.
Oklahoma got out to another fast start with a trio of runs on the bottom of the first inning. With Brendan Zaragoza on first with two outs, Justin Mitchell singled through the hole to left. When the throw to third bounced off of Zaragoza’s rear end, he was able to jog home and put the Sooners on the board. Kyle Mendenhall drove Mitchell home from second with another grounder through the hole to left, and Thomas Hughes then brought Mendenhall home with a double down the line in left to give OU a 3-0 lead.
Mitchell opened the bottom of the third with an opposite-field shot to the gap in right and legged out a triple. Mendenhall then brought him home with a sacrifice fly to right to extend the lead to 4-0. Kansas struck back in the top of the fourth with two runs on three hits – which included a pair of triples from James Cosentino and Devin Foyle.
Tyler and Oklahoma relievers Lane Ramsey, Braidyn Fink, Connor Berry and Austin Hansen took OU home from there with five straight shutout innings, allowing only one it in that stretch and stranding four runners.
Oklahoma will have to defeat Baylor twice tomorrow in order to advance to the championship game, and the two things will get things started at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. If the Sooners win the first game, the two will play again at approximately 4 p.m. The Bears topped Oklahoma in the first game of the Big 12 Tournament by a score of 4-0 and have won 20 of their last 23 games.