FORT WORTH, Texas – Junior right fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) homered twice to power the No. 19 University of Oklahoma baseball team to a 6-3 win over TCU at Lupton Stadium on Sunday. The win came in the first of two games on the day to clinch the series for the Sooners, who improved to 8-0 in the Big 12 for the first time ever with their sixth consecutive win. The Horned Frogs won the finale, 6-2, to lift their record to 15-13 overall and 4-5 in conference, while OU moved on at 23-11 and 8-1.
Senior right-handed pitcher Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) went 5.2 innings in the start for Oklahoma. Perez (4-0) scattered six hits and two walks, resulting in three runs all scored in separate frames. He added two strikeouts to his line; both in the second inning.
Freshman designated hitter Tyler Hardman (Corona, Calif.) had a career day at the plate in the opener. He posted three singles and a double, including two-out, RBI-singles in both the second and fourth inning. Hardman singled to lead off the seventh and scored on Walker’s second home run of the day.
Four Sooner relievers combined for 3.1-scoreless innings with one hit, three walks and four strikeouts. Junior RHP Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) got his second save of the weekend and seventh of the season. He entered with a man aboard and nobody out in the ninth. A double play immediately erased the leadoff-baserunner and Berry got the next batter to fly out to center to complete his inning and clinch the series.
In game two, sophomore shortstop Brandon Zaragoza (Moore, Okla.) got the offense going for OU with a one-out single in the fourth. He came around to score on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch taken by junior third baseman Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.).
The Horned Frogs rallied in the bottom half with four consecutive two-out hits against Sooner sophomore righty Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.). TCU tied the game with a double off the glove of Ware by right fielder A.J. Balta. Shortstop Adam Oviedo then gave the Horned Frogs a 3-1 lead with a base hit through the right side.
Oklahoma cut the deficit to a run in the fifth on a solo home run by junior left fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) that bounced off the top of the wall down the right field line.
TCU plated three more runs against the OU bullpen in the seventh. Despite a leadoff-single getting erased on a caught stealing, the Horned Frogs drew five consecutive walks, resulting in three runs, two of which scored on a wild pitch that allowed one run in and the throw back to the plate went awry to allow another.
Wiles (2-2) took the loss in a 5.2-inning start. He gave up three runs in six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. RHP Charles King (2-1) got the win in five innings of work for TCU. He surrendered two runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The Horned Frogs outhit the Sooners, 7-5. Oviedo led all players with a 3-for-4 day.
Oklahoma is in action for five home games this week beginning against Little Rock on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m.