Lorenzana's homer not enough in Bedlam opener
Tulsa, Okla. — The No. 18 Oklahoma baseball team got a three-run homer from junior second baseman Hector Lorenzana in the fourth inning, but that was all the offense the Sooners could muster in their 4-3 loss Friday against Oklahoma State at ONEOK Field.
The series-opening loss drops OU to 34-15 overall and 11-8 in the Big 12, which is now good for third in the conference standings. Also, the loss was the Sooners’ third straight.
Key Stat: 7 — All seven runs scored Friday night were scored with two outs. Lorenzana’s homer was on a two-strike, two-out pitch, and the Cowboys (35-12, 10-8 Big 12) scored on three two-out hits, including the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth. Both teams had opportunities to score with two outs and runners on, but it was Oklahoma State who did it with a better success rate.
Key Player: Oklahoma State pitcher Jason Hursh — The righty pitched a complete game to earn his fifth victory of the season. He was throwing in the mid-90s in the ninth, an inning in which he struck out two batters. In his nine innings, he struck out nine batters and threw 134 pitches.
Honorable Mention: Oklahoma State catcher Gage Green — Green was a surprise Friday night. He wasn’t surprising because he went 3-for-4 with the game-winning RBI as the nine-hole hitter. Rather, Green was surprising because the normal left fielder started at catcher because of an injury and was not told he was getting the start until 10 minutes before first pitch.
What it means: The Sooners now have to come back to win the final two games Saturday and Sunday if they want to win this series and keep up in the Big 12 standings. Kansas State defeated Kansas, 4-3, Friday to take sole possession of first by a half game over West Virginia, whose game with TCU was postponed to Saturday because of weather. OU and the Wildcats meet next weekend, but you know coach Sunny Golloway does not want to go into that matchup with any more than eight conference losses. These last two games this weekend are must-win games, and Golloway said he feels confident in the fact he has his two best pitchers starting for both games.
What’s next for the Sooners: OU will try to avoid the series loss and fall farther behind in the Big 12 standings at 2 p.m. Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Junior pitcher Jonathan Gray (8-1, 1.20 ERA) will be on the mound for the Sooners. Gray has been battling strep throat this week, but he said Wednesday he was feeling better. Golloway confirmed after the game Gray’s feeling fine and is ready to go.