The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 29, 2014

Sooners score late to bring down Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Oklahoma’s scoreless-innings streak ended at 25 and so did its two-game losing streak with Friday’s 2-1 victory over Kansas at Hoglund Ballpark.

The victory lifted the Sooners to 19-8 and 3-1 in the Big 12 Conference. The Jayhawks dropped to 17-9 and 2-2.

OU center fielder Craig Aikin ignited the ninth-inning rally that led to the game-winning run. The sophomore drew a two-out walk, moved into scoring position on Hunter Haley’s single through the right side and scored on Sheldon Neuse’s game-winning single up the middle.

Neuse’s base hit was OU’s sixth of the night, but it was enough to claim the three-game series’ opening game.

“Great win on the road,” OU coach Pete Hughes said. “We’ve got a lot of things to build on.”

Closer Ralph Garza Jr. (4-0) picked up the victory. The right-hander pitched 1 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.

Kansas closer Jordan Piche’ (3-2) took the loss. He fanned three over 1 2/3 innings, but surrendered the go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

Corey Copping didn’t factor in the decision, but the sophomore threw 4 1/3 shutout innings to start things out for the Sooners.

Kansas got on the scoreboard first on Aaron Hernandez’s RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning off reliever Kindle Ladd.

OU answered in the top of the eighth when Austin O’Brien battled back from an 0-2 to count to draw a bases-loaded walk to score Haley.

The run was the first OU scored since putting up eight runs in the eighth inning of last Saturday’s 11-4 victory over Kansas State. OU arrived in Lawrence aching from back-to-back shutout losses to the Wildcats last Sunday and Oral Roberts on Tuesday.

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