Sooners Sweep Doubleheader, Eye Series Sweep

NORMAN, Okla. – Saturday baseball for the No. 5 Sooners wasn't for the faint of heart.

OU (3-0) had to rely on its bullpen and its ability to come from behind in both of its games en route to sweeping a doubleheader against the William and Mary Tribe.

Neither of the Sooners' starting pitchers, senior Bobby Shore or junior Burch Smith, lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings. So head coach Sunny Golloway had to call upon his bullpen to do its job.

Senior pitcher Anthony Collazo and sophomore pitcher Jack Mayfield combined to throw the final 3 2/3 innings of the first game. They limited the Tribe to one run on three hits.

In the second game, redshirt freshman pitcher Jordan John, who made his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery, and senior pitcher Tyson Seng threw the final four innings. William and Mary could only muster two hits against the two pitchers.

While the bullpen held the Tribe at bay, the bats had to produce in the late innings to overcome early deficits.

The Sooners got down by three runs in the first game before they got on the board. But, they outscored the Tribe 8-3 in the final six innings to secure their first come-from-behind victory of the year.

OU looked dead-to-rights in the second game, though. William and Mary held Sooner bats hitless during the first three innings while it piled on a 4-0 lead, but once the bats woke up you couldn't put them back to sleep.

The Sooners scored 13 unanswered runs to secure the Saturday sweep and keep the season-opening series sweep hopes alive.

On Friday, the No. 5 baseball team couldn't have scripted a better first step back to Omaha than the one they put together in the season opener at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

They defeated the Tribe 7-1, senior pitcher Michael Rocha was virtually untouchable and the bats plated all the runs OU needed in the first three innings.

But what was the best part of opening day in the eyes of head coach Sunny Golloway was the contrast in emotion of winning rather than ending the season with a loss.

"The last time we put [these jerseys] on we ended up having tears in our eyes afterward," Golloway said. "To put it on and have a smile and go get dinner and focus on tomorrow is really a great thing."

Rocha allowed just one hit in seven innings of work in that contest before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

The one-hit performance was the second of his career. He held Houston Baptist to one hit last season.

"It was everything [working]," Rocha said. "I mean, I came in with nerves and adrenaline really took over. Basically fastballs away and let them hit it to my defense."

The senior mixed up his pitches to keep William and Mary off balance all day. The Tribe maybe put solid bat on the ball once or twice.

"Can't really explain it," Rocha said. "Some days they hit it hard. Some days they don't."

This was the eighth straight start for Rocha where he went at least five innings. The first seven of those came last season.

But as mentioned, Rocha's performance was the only one of three so far where a starting pitcher was dominant.

Sunday's series-capper will be another chance for a starter to post a better performance.


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