Fresh off a series win over #17 Long Beach State, Oklahoma’s baseball team was back in action on Tuesday afternoon against 2-1 Grambling State. The Sooners took advantage of strong early performances from the mound and opportunistic offensive production in the middle innings to move past the Tigers 11-2.
Starter Austin Hansen tossed the first two innings, striking out three and allowing no runs and now hits while walking two. It was an impressive but short start for the sophomore righty who gave way to junior Devon Perez in the third.
Perez went the next five innings, in his Oklahoma debut, allowing two runs off three hits and striking out eight to pick up the win. At one point he retired twelve Grambling batters in a row, a streak that ended when Daniel Barnett took him deep to left in the top of the seventh.
“You never know when your opportunity is going to come,” Pete Hughes said of his junior pitcher. “We knew we were going to go short outing with Hansen then what we got with Devon, he was dominant. He was dominant in the zone with eight punch outs and no walks. He definitely allowed ourselves, offensively, not to panic and just settle in.”
Oklahoma had produced more than enough runs by that point by pushing across seven runs through the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Ben Hollas picked up an RBI in the bottom of the third when his single to center scored Renae Martinez to give the Sooners a 1-0 lead.
OU boosted their run total to four by scoring Jack Flansburg, Austin O’Brien, Cade Harris in the fourth inning. Flansburgh started the scoring in the frame by belting a home run over the right field wall for his first long ball of the season.
Far from being done in the scoring department, the Sooners plated three more runs in the fifth and then took advantage of four walks and an error in the eighth to get to the final of 11-2. Steele Walker, Austin O’Brien, and Blake Brewster all produced multi-hits games with O’Brien going two-for-two with two runs scored.
The Sooners (3-1) wrap up their two-game set with Grambling State on Wednesday afternoon with first pitch set for 3:00.