No. 5 Baseball Team Stays Perfect

NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 5 baseball team had very little trouble beating the visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions the past two days.

The Sooners won both of the midweek games 27-7 Tuesday and 12-1 in seven innings Wednesday to improve to 6-0 to start the season.

Tuesday night's affair featured two record performances, one by a player and the other by the team. Junior second baseman Evan Mistich scored a program-high six runs, and the Sooners plated 14 runs in the eighth inning to tie an OU record for most runs in a single inning.

Mistich has played in only three games before setting his first program record, which he admits is pretty cool.

"I had no idea about that until the guys started telling me," said the junior transfer, who went 5-for-6 during the series. "It's a pretty cool thing. I just got on base, and the guys knocked me in. Everybody was doing their job."

Three players also saw career firsts in the rout.

Sophomore shortstop Jack Mayfield, junior catcher Tanner Toal and freshman designated hitter Jake Smith each hit their first homers while wearing the Crimson and Cream.

"It felt good," said Mayfield, who also hit his first career triple Wednesday. "I just saw a pitch up and put a good swing on it."

The second game may not have seen as many runs as the first, but like the first game the Sooners had the game won early.

OU reached double-digit runs by the sixth inning, and freshman Jordan John, who was making his first career start, sailed through the Golden Lions' lineup with ease after the third inning.

John threw seven innings of six-hit ball and struck out nine batters, and the only run he allowed was unearned.

"[My first start was] a lot more nerve wracking than I thought it was going to be," John said. "I left a lot of fastballs up early on, and as I settled down later in the later innings I got the balls down."

The freshman didn't allow a hit after the third inning and struck out the final three batters to secure the complete-game victory.

The only surprise of the series was that junior third baseman Garrett Buechele didn't collect his first base hit until the sixth inning of the second game.

But Buechele made that hit count.

The Arlington, Texas, native launched a mid-70s fastball well over the left field fence to bring in three runs. Those three RBIs brought Buechele's total up to five on the day to tie a career high.

"It's almost funny on stuff like that," said the team leader in home runs with four. "I'm putting good swings on the ball. It's just not going my way, and that's what happened. I get 10 hits over the weekend and come out here and go 0-for-7 just like that."

So Buechele doesn't blame his early-series struggles on anything he did wrong, but rather credits the beauty of the game for his momentary misfortunes.

"That's what's great about baseball," he said. "You can never be too high on yourself because the game will straighten you out real quick."

OU returns to action this weekend at home against the Oakland Grizzlies. The first game is slated for 3 p.m. Friday, and senior pitcher Michael Rocha is scheduled to start on the mound.

Senior pitcher Bobby Shore and junior pitcher Burch Smith should start the Saturday and Sunday games, which will start at noon and 1 p.m. respectively.

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