NORMAN — A sweep would have been better, yet under the circumstances Oklahoma got all it could out of Sunday’s get-away-day rubber game against Kansas.
The Sooners had split the first two games against the Jayhawks and needed a Sunday victory to finally win a Big 12 series, get out of the conference cellar and put a good taste in their mouths with mid-week games against Texas Southern and another quite winnable conference series at Kansas State coming up.
It only took seven innings.
That was enough for the mercy-rule to be invoked as the Sooners led 14-3 at the time.
OU improved to 18-13 overall and 3-6 in the conference. Kansas fell to 18-13 and 2-7.
It might not have been everything Sooner starting pitcher Braden Carmichael wanted, the Jayhawks getting to him for three runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Yet, far different from OU’s starting-pitching fortunes the first two games in the series, they didn’t get to him at all until a single run in the fifth inning before adding two more in the sixth. By that time, OU was already up 8-0, having scored five runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth.
Additionally, after Kansas plated its first run in the fifth, OU added six more in its half of the frame, getting an RBI single from Jimmy Crooks, an RBI single from Tyler Hardman, a two-run triple from Brett Squires and a two-run home run from Peyton Graham, his fifth of the season and his second in two days.
Hardman had already homered in the fourth inning, a two-run shot, his eighth of the season.
The Sooners banged out 15 hits. Taylor Tredaway went 4 for 5, scored three times and drove in one. Crooks went 3 for 3, scored twice and drove in three. Hardman went 3 for 4, scored twice and drove in three. Squires went 2 for 2, scored twice and drove in two. Graham went 2 for 4, scored once and drove in four.
Carmichael improved to 5-1 on the mound. Luke Taggart finished, facing the minimum and striking out two, getting the game’s last four outs in relief.