The Norman Transcript


May 24, 2013

Gray lifts Sooners to victory in Big 12 opener



The Sooners (37-19) needed it. Whether it must win the Big 12 tournament to get into next week’s NCAA tournament is debatable. Winning games, however, removes doubt.

Thursday’s win allowed OU to build a winning streak — two games — for the first time since late April. It looked a lot more like the team that appeared to be the class of the conference in early April than the team that stumbled down the stretch.

One of the reasons for the struggles was that OU lost games to Oklahoma State and Kansas State with Gray on the mound.

The Sooners got back to their pillars of winning. They grabbed the lead early and let their bell cow carry them the rest of the way.

Jack Mayfield gave the Sooners that critical early run with a double down the left-field line to score Craig Aikin in the bottom of first inning.

“When we have Big Jon on the mound, we kind of struggle to score runs because they are usually throwing their Friday guy, too,” Mayfield said. “That first inning was big. We called two hit-and-runs and I fouled those off. I was fortunate to keep that ball fair down the line and once I got that, I knew Jon was going to settle in and he just dominated out there.”

Hector Lorenzana tacked on the final run with an RBI single to bring home Max White in the third inning. OU wasn’t an offensive juggernaut by any stretch. It only had six hits.

Baylor’s Dillon Newman (3-4) went the distance as well. He held the Sooners to those six hits over eight innings.

But he wasn’t Gray’s equal. Newman wasn’t the most dominant pitcher in college baseball.

“I’ve seen really good arms come through this Big 12 tournament. An overall performance like that is pretty special,” Golloway said. “We don’t take it for granted.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn


Text Only | Photo Reprints