No. 11 Oklahoma powered its way to a series win, belting out seven homers in a 16-6 victory over the Huskers Monday afternoon.
On an afternoon with winds gusting out to left and center, the Sooners (23-6, 4-2 Big 12) took advantage of the conditions, as Aaron Baker went 2-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs, including a key two-run first-inning homer that spotted the Sooners an early lead. Six different Sooners homered on the afternoon, as Casey Johnson homered and drove in three runs, while Garrett Buechele, Bryant Herandez and J.T. Wise all homered and plated a pair of runs.
“We didn’t do a good job of locating our pitches,” Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson said. “We had pitches that were designed to be outside into the wind and instead they were inside and went for two and three-run homers. You can’t make those mistakes in conditions like that.”
J.R. Robinson (3-1) earned the win, scattering 10 hits over 6.1 innings of work, as the Sooners worked out of trouble all afternoon by turning four double plays.
“You have to give their guy some credit,” Anderson said. “He did a good job of pitching to the wind and keeping us off balance. We had a number of hits, but we didn’t capitalize on them.”
Kyle Bubak led NU with three hits, while Tyler Farst, who was named Big 12 Player of the Week earlier today, went 2-for-3. Boomer Collins drove in a pair of runs, as Nebraska scored four times to pull within 14-6 in the seventh, but could not get any closer.
Oklahoma took advantage of a break in the bottom of the first that led to a trio of runs. With two outs, Hernandez lofted a fly ball to deep center that DJ Belfonte lost in the sun for a triple. The play proved costly, as Baker got one into the wind moments later for a two-run homer to center. After a pair of walks, Buechele gave OU a three-run lead with an RBI single.
“We didn’t get out of the first inning without runs, but we should have,” Anderson said. “Those things don’t show up on the scoreboard as errors but we had some errors and difficult plays that allowed them to keep innings going and that hurt us today.”
Nebraska fights back in the top of the second, pushing across a run to make it 3-1. Farst opened the inning with a double to left center before eventually coming home on a wild pitch from by Robinson.
The Sooners used the long ball once again in the third, as Baker’s second homer of the afternoon made it a 5-1 Sooner lead. Herdandez opened the frame with a single through the left side before Baker sent a 2-1 offering from NU starter and loser Sean Yost (1-2) over the fence in left. OU continued to add to its lead as Buechele hooked a Nate Kerkhoff offering down the line in left for OU’s third homer of the afternoon.
The Huskers pushed across a run in the fourth, as Cody Neer’s double off the wall in left plated Nick Sullivan, who started the rally with a two-out single, to make it a 5-2 game.
Oklahoma continued to use the wind to its advantage in the bottom half of the frame with three more homers, including back-to-back shots by Matt Harughty and Hernandez, to push the margin to 11-2. After the two homers opened the frame, Matt Freeman induced a double play, but a walk and a hit batter put two on for Johnson, who cleared the bases with a homer over the fence in right to break the game open. The Sooners added three more runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run homer by Wise, before the Huskers mounted a comeback.
NU opened the seventh with consecutive pinch-hit singles by Khiry Cooper and Cory Burleson before a Kyle Bubak single two batters later loaded the bases. Jake Mort was hit by a pitch to force in a run before Collins sliced a two-run single to right to put the Huskers within 14-5. Kale Kiser continued the rally with an RBI single to left before Farst reloaded the bases with a walk, but NU was unable to sustain the rally as Jeff Tezak grounded into double play.
The Huskers will travel to Wichita State Tuesday night for a game with the Shockers. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and will be carried on selected Husker Sports Network stations and on Huskers.com
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations