OU baseball: Seven-run third inning powers Sooners over Pepperdine
Jono Greco, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 18 Oklahoma baseball team’s eight runs in the first three innings — one in the first and seven in the third — were all it needed to secure the 10-7 victory against Pepperdine on Friday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners improved to 10-0 with the win despite the rocky outing from ace Dillon Overton, who improved to 4-0 but increased his ERA to 2.86.
Key Stat: 13 — In what was tabbed as a potential pitchers’ duel, the two starting pitchers combined to allow 13 runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth innings. The Sooners plated seven runs in the third, while Pepperdine responded with six runs of its own in the fourth. Coming into the game, OU’s starter Dillon Overton had allowed just two runs — one earned — while Pepperdine’s Scott Frazier had given up four runs — three of which were earned.
Honorable Mention Stat: 10 — Although Overton struggled in the top of the fourth inning and committed a season-high four walks, the junior lefty struck out a season-high 10 batters. Friday’s total improves his strikeout numbers to 26 on the year and 211 for his career. Also, this number signifies junior designated hitter Matt Oberste’s hit streak. With his RBI-single in the third inning, Oberste has hit safely in 10 straight games to start the season, going 16-for-36 with 18 RBIs.
Key Player: Freshman left fielder Hunter Haley — The true freshman hit his first career home run and drove in another run on a sacrifice fly during his 1-for-3 game. He also made a nice sliding catch on a sinking line drive in the eighth inning to prevent a potential rally.
Honorable Mention: Freshman pitcher Jacob Evans — Following Overton’s departure after six innings, the true freshman tossed two shutout innings in a close game.
What it means: This is a great statement win for the Sooners. Although they may not be too happy by the rare poor outing from Overton — who really only had one bad inning as all of Pepperdine’s runs were scored in the fourth inning — the win marks the best start since the Sooners started 16-0 in 2011. OU is now one win this weekend away from winning the series, which would be something teams around the national and pollsters will have to notice.
What’s next for the Sooners: OU returns to action at 2 p.m. Saturday for game two of this three-game set against Pepperdine at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Sooners will be going for the series victory.