Sooners Walk Off to Seventh Straight

NORMAN, Okla. — OU has grown quite accustomed to this story: a walk-off victory. For the third straight weekend series now, it has captured a win in its final at-bat, walking off victorious over the Alabama State Hornets 2-1 Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park on first baseman Hunter Lockwood's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.

Lockwood, who stepped up to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second, was 0-for-4 on the day and 0-for-7 on the weekend heading into the plate appearance.

But he made up for all that, crushing Alabama State pitcher Ron Frost's 1-1 offering up the middle and plating center fielder Max White, who singled earlier in the inning.

"It was even more special for me, I guess, knowing that like I've been struggling a little bit lately and then coming up today and coming up with a big hit then," Lockwood said.

Special for the Sooners, too, who won their seventh straight despite committing three errors and being held scoreless for six-plus innings.

"Life is about timing," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "Luckily our timing has still been pretty good."

The Sooners banged out 10 hits in the contest, many of which came in the late innings when OU rallied back.

Meanwhile, pitcher Steven Okert (5-4) provided OU with three innings of perfect relief in picking up the victory, striking out one of his eight batters faced.

"He pitched great," Golloway said. "He's really adapted to that role. He likes coming in with the game on the line. And that's been good for us."

Starter Jonathan Gray worked six innings, allowing just one unearned run and striking out eight while walking two.

The Hornets struck first off Gray when he committed an error in the fourth inning that enabled second baseman Leo Rojas to advance to third and ultimately score moments later.

OU tied it in the seventh on right fielder Cody Reine's RBI groundout that brought home second baseman Jack Mayfield.

Neither team scored again outside of the ninth.

Okert was certainly a huge part in keeping it that way.

"I've been through a lot of high pressure situations lately, so it wasn't too bad," Okert said. "I trust my team behind me and I got a lot of balls put into play and they made the plays for me."

White led the Sooners again at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk and run scored.

Okert's counterpart in relief, Frost, was tagged for the loss after surrendering the one run on a pair of hits and a walk.

OU and Alabama State conclude the three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m. before OU hits the road to take on Bedlam rival Oklahoma State in a non-conference game Tuesday in Stillwater.

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