NORMAN — Friday showed just how fickle baseball can be. Oklahoma swept a doubleheader from Rutgers at L. Dale Mitchell Park, but won each game under vastly different circumstances.
The Sooners (11-4) matched a season high with 16 runs and finished one short of their season-best hit total with 19 in a 16-11 win to start the day. In the nightcap, OU rallied from four runs down in the bottom of the eighth inning to win 7-5.
“That is baseball,” OU center fielder Craig Aikin said. “Every day is a new day and every game is a new game.”
You can add that every inning is new, too.
What changed in the eighth inning was that OU got runners on base and got key hits when they did. The six-run frame was courtesy of a two-run double by first baseman Mac James, an RBI double by Keach Ballard and a go-ahead triple by Aikin.
The Sooners only had eight hits in the game. Five of them came in the eighth inning.
“If we’re gonna win in our league, we’re gonna have to win tight games and win late and sometimes come from behind,” OU coach Pete Hughes said. “It felt like a conference game to me.”
The night cap certainly did. Neither factored in the decision, but OU’s Adam Choplick and Rutgers’ Kyle Driscoll dueled quite well for six innings.
Driscoll held the Sooners to one run on three hits over six innings. Choplick threw a career-high 113 pitches over 62⁄3 innings, scattering seven hits and two runs. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound left-hander also struck out six.
“It didn’t feel like I threw that many pitches,” Choplick said. “I thought I was around 100. I still felt good at the end. I felt like I had my velocity.”
It might have been one inning too many for the sophomore.