OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma baseball team advanced to Friday at the Big 12 Championship with a 3-1 win over No. 1 seed Texas at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Thursday morning. The Sooners improved to 35-22, while the Longhorns fell to 37-20.
Despite playing shorthanded without two regulars in their lineup, the Sooners managed to knock off 12th-ranked Texas with stellar pitching and key base hits from Blake Brewster and Domenic DeRenzo to eliminate the Longhorns.
Brewster homered for the second time this season and reached base three times in four plate appearances, while DeRenzo finished 1-for-4 with a RBI double.
“I thought they played a really good game, really unselfish. Starting the game off, [Nathan] Wiles set the tone by pounding the strike zone like he always does. We took the momentum in the first inning by scoring a run, which is always good,” OU head coach Skip Johnson said. “A couple of these guys that came off the bench - we talk about that all the time - you never know when you’re going to get the biggest hit, you never know when you’re going to make the biggest pitch in a game, so really proud of those guys to keep fighting and have the right attitude. It showed today.”
Oklahoma scored early to grab a 2-0 lead through three innings. After Cade Harris led off the game with a single to right, Kyler Murray drove in his 47th run of the year by lacing a line drive down the left field line to put OU in front 1-0 in the first inning. Murray would later leave the game after stealing second base in the opening frame.
In the third, Brewster deposited a fastball from Texas starter Nolan Kingham over the wall in left field to push OU’s lead to 2-0. The home run was the second of the year for Brewster and the junior’s first since April 10 against Little Rock. The Moore, Okla., native finished 1-for-2 with a run scored and walked twice.
Back-to-back doubles from Brandon Zaragoza and DeRenzo extended the Sooners’ lead in the fifth. Zaragoza looped a double to the right center gap to set up DeRenzo’s one-out RBI two-bagger. The junior entered the game in the second for Murray and also made a crucial diving catch in the seventh inning in right field to help preserve OU’s lead.
The Sooners combined to use five pitchers to earn the win. Freshman Levi Prater picked up the win in relief of OU starter Nathan Wiles. Prater (3-3) entered the game with bases loaded and no outs in the fifth, but managed to roll a double play and closed the frame with a strikeout to limit Texas to just one run. In his 13th start of the season, Wiles tossed four innings, struck out four, walked two and allowed one run on five hits.
OU’s bullpen threw five innings of scoreless relief, surrendering just one hit and striking six. Junior Austin Hansen earned his seventh save of the year, pitching the final 1.2 innings and striking out three.
Kingham (7-3) took the loss for the Longhorns, allowing eight hits and three runs in 5.1 innings of work.
Junior Thomas Hughes led the Sooners with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate and picking up a stolen base. Hughes served as the Sooners’ designated hitter and made his first start since May 21, 2016. Harris drew three walks and finished 1-for-2 with a run scored.
The Sooners return to action on Friday at 3:15 p.m. CT and will face the loser Thursday’s contest between Baylor and Kansas.
Friday’s game will televised on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox College Sports Central.