Sooners Smash Tech 11-1 Saturday Evening

NORMAN, Okla. – It's official: the No. 10 Sooners' bats have awoken.

OU (21-6, 4-3 Big 12) slapped around the Texas Tech Red Raiders for 13 hits in its 11-1 victory Saturday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

The Sooners' offense has been working so well that some of the players and coaches are comparing the feel at the plate and in the dugout to the one they felt at the end of last season.

"It felt like we were last year late in the season," junior right fielder Cody Reine said. "We have an electric feel in the dugout. We're hitting balls hard. It just felt great."

While this team feels like it could be back on its way to last year's success, one of its main ways of winning this year has been waiting three or four innings before getting on the board and eventually taking the lead.

That wasn't the case Saturday.

The Sooners put up a four-spot in the first inning off Texas Tech starting pitcher Trey Masek and never looked back. They scored three in the third, three in the fourth and tacked on their final run in the seventh.

The double-digit run output is OU's third straight overall and second straight against a Big 12 opponent after being held to less than five runs in nine straight games dating back to March 11 against Arkansas-Little Rock.

"We've always been a team where we hit five or plus runs and we feel good about it," said junior first baseman Cameron Seitzer, who went 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. "Especially with these new bats we're not too worried about balls leaving the yard as much as we were last year. But – I mean – the double-digit runs have been huge for us."

Not only was the victory proof that the Sooners' slump may be over, but it clinched their first series victory during conference play.

"[Getting the first series victory in Big 12 play was] huge," Seitzer said. "We've got a lot more to go. A lot more road to go to win the Big 12 series."

Nine players other than Seitzer recorded at least one hit, and two others had multi-hit games.

Senior designated hitter Casey Johnson was perfect at the plate by going 2-for-2 and Reine went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs.

But OU's goal for the series is far from over.

The Sooners may have already crossed the series-victory task off their weekend checklist, but they need to complete the sweep to keep up in the race for the Big 12 title.

"It's always important, especially in the Big 12," said junior right fielder Cody Reine. "Texas A&M won another game. It's hard for us to close the gap on them if they keep on playing the way they are. But we've got to keep pushing and keep making a run."

The only note for concern is senior pitcher Bobby Shore's health.

He was limited to just 3 2/3 innings and 73 pitches, which was planned, and didn't allow a run.

"When we got up we started watching him a bit," head coach Sunny Golloway said. "We know we didn't want [Shore's pitch count] getting too high. Again, let's just make sure we err on the side of caution."

Shore is not supposed to miss any starts, but his pitch count will be monitored in his next couple of outings.

"If he's ready to go next weekend it's his job," Golloway said.

The Sooners will go for the series sweep against Texas Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday. Junior pitcher Burch Smith will be on the mound trying to earn his first victory during Big 12 play.

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