The move helped get Ballard into the lineup. He made just his fourth start of the season Wednesday. He went 1 for 3, but the lone hit was clutch. He delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave OU the two insurance runs.
The rest of OU’s runs came via the long ball.
Taylor Alspaugh gave OU the lead with a solo home run in the second inning and Hunter Haley added a solo shot in the third.
Octavio Rodriguez only pitched two innings, but picked up the victory in a predetermined start. He, Robert Tasin, Kindle Ladd, Kyle Hayes and Ralph Garza Jr., who picked up the save, combined to hold Abilene Christian (6-3) to one run on six hits.
Garrett Demeyere (2-2) took the loss. He went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits.
The teams return to L. Dale Mitchell Park at 3 p.m. for the finale of the two-game series.
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