OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma dominated the Big 12 tournament’s all-tournament team.
Pitcher Jonathan Gray, who threw a complete-game three-hitter in Thursday’s tournament-opening victory over Baylor, was named the most outstanding player.
First baseman Matt Oberste, catcher Anthony Hermelyn, second baseman Hector Lorenzana third baseman Garrett Carey and center fielder Max White were also selected.
Catch of the day: The best defensive play of a game is rarely provided by a pitcher. However, the snag Jacob Evans had of Kevin Kuntz line drive to end the bottom of the fifth inning was critical.
The Jayhawks had runners at second and third and a hit would have changed the complexion of the game.
“It was 5-1 at that time. If they would have gotten a hit right there, it’s 5-3. Getting out of that jam helped a lot,” Evans said.
“I thought that play was the biggest play of the game. It could have put us down five to four and then we still have a chance to win,” Kansas coach Ritch Price said. “Not only did he (Jacob Evans) pitch well but he had the defensive play of the game as well.”
40 and counting: Sunday’s victory was the Sooners’ 40th of the season. This marks the fifth straight season OU has won at least 40 games.
“We have seen really good programs struggle before with consistency. We want our program to be a model of consistency over the long haul and we knew coming in that winning 40 games was going to be a challenge for us,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “Overall, I’m proud of the body of work for this team this season.”
Rice and Florida State are the only other programs to have won 40 games the last five seasons.
Hayes emerges: OU reliever Kyle Hayes picked up the save Sunday. It was the second straight game he came out of the bullpen to record the final outs.
OU coach Sunny Golloway said Hayes has earned a bigger role in the NCAA tournament because of his performance — 2 1-3 inning of no-hit ball with three strikeouts.
“We were forced to throw Kyle yesterday, today was by choice,” Golloway said. “Trust me, the way he’s throwing the ball. So we found another big arm that’s going to help us next weekend.”
First in while: Matt Oberste’s two-run homer in the third inning gave him a team-high 11 on the season. The blast also ended 17-game slump without a homer it was also just his second against a Big 12 opponent this season.
Dominating on the mound: In the four Big 12 tournament games, OU’s pitching staff held the opponents to a .230 batting average and had an earned run average of 1.89.
The Sooners also recorded 31 strikeouts in 38 innings, while only issuing nine walks.
Double ‘em up: OU and Kansas turned four double plays (two each), tying them for a record in the Big 12 tournament title game. The only other times both teams had turned four double plays was in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
OU turned six double plays in the tournament.