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March 16, 2014

Big bats: Sooners dismantle Belmont in three lights-out innings

NORMAN — On a day the elements couldn’t have been much worse, Oklahoma played baseball like it was sunny, warm and calm. So, after winning a couple nailbiters from Belmont the previous two days, Sunday made for an easy sweep.

Sooner coach Pete Hughes, amid temperatures and winds in the 30s, was happy to play small ball early. Soon enough, however, his team made it unnecessary on the way to a 10-1 victory.

“Our guys impressed me,” Hughes said. “I was surprised how well they adapted to the conditions and were really disciplined hitting the top half of the baseball for line drives and ground balls.”

The Sooners banged out a dozen hits and produced three big innings, getting three runs in the third inning off Belmont starter Patrick McGrath (1-3), four more off McCrath in the fifth and three more of Bruin reliever Scott Moses in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Jake Elliott (2-2) was aces on the mound, not giving up a run until his final inning, the sixth, while striking out five, walking two and allowing six hits.

“It was hard in these conditions but I was able to battle the elements and throw a lot of strikes today,” he said.

In the sixth, the only inning Elliott faced real trouble, when the Bruins loaded the bases with one out, Spencer Petett produced the Bruins’ only run with a two-out single. Elliott escape the jam by getting Greg Brody to ground out.

In the forms of Jacob Evans, Robert Tasin and Alec Hansen, three scoreless innings from the Sooner bullpen followed.

Anthony Hermelyn, playing first base rather than catcher Sunday, and Austin O’Brien, a freshman getting his first start, led the way at the plate.

Hermelyn finished 2 for 3 with four RBIs, while O’Brien went 4 for 5, drove in three and scored a run.

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