OU baseball: Sooners win series thanks to third walk-off victory of season
Ricardo Patino, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 23 Oklahoma baseball team claimed the midweek series against New Mexico State with its 3-2 walk-off victory Wednesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
After a risky play at third in the bottom of the ninth, senior shortstop Jack Mayfield delivered with a sacrifice fly to right to drive in the winning run. The walk-off victory was OU’s third of the season.
Key Stat: 11 — The Sooners (14-4) struck out 11 Aggies. Junior pitcher Kyle Hayes struck out six, junior pitcher Billy Waltrip added three of his own and freshman Jacob Evans recorded two strikeouts in as many innings.
Key Player: Senior shortstop Jack Mayfield — The captain had two hits — including an RBI double in the seventh inning to tie the game at two — but it was his sacrifice fly in the ninth that sent Sooner fans home happy.
Honorable Mention: Junior pitcher Kyle Hayes — Although Wednesday’s starter did not earn a decision, he pitched well enough to have. He delivered five innings of three-hit, one-run ball while striking out six batters.
Honorable Mention: Freshman pitcher Jacob Evans — Scene: Bases loaded, no outs in a tie game in the eighth. Result: the freshman lefty comes out of the bullpen and not only cleans up the situation but makes sure the Sooners were still tied when they went back to the dugout. He recorded a strikeout then induced the inning-ending double play. Evans also recorded a perfect ninth inning.
What it means: This series victory was expected, but losing this midweek set would have hurt the team’s RPI and any momentum it would have tried to build going into the weekend. Although expected, this was a must win series, and the Sooners delivered.
What’s next for the Sooners: OU returns the L. Dale Mitchell Park for a weekend series against Northwestern State starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday.