Sooners walk-off for huge RPI booster

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners needed a big hit, a big run, a big win to save their season, and boy did they get it.

In one swing of the bat, left fielder Erik Ross provided all three, delivering a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning to break a scoreless tie.

And he also handed Baylor its first conference loss of the season with his clincher to right center.

The victory does wonders for OU's NCAA Tournament hopes, which were on life support entering the contest.

OU carried a 66th and 68th ranked RPI heading into the contest, depending on which site you looked at, and the victory undoubtedly raises that.

It also clinches no lower than the fifth seed in the Big 12 Tournament.

So, saying Ross' swing propelling the dramatic win isn't huge would be a major understatement.

It was monumental.

And the job of OU starting pitcher Jordan John on this day, superb.

John threw 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball, striking out five and giving up just five hits and two walks before being lifted in the ninth.

His counterpart, Baylor ace Josh Turley, dealt seven scoreless innings while striking out six and surrendering just three hits before exiting after the seventh.

That left it up to the bullpens, and ultimately Sooner closer Steven Okert won out over Bears relievers Ryan Smith, Crayton Bare and Dillon Newman.

Okert picked up the victory after throwing 1 1/3 innings without a run, while Newman was tagged with the loss after giving up the winning run on two hits and a walk in extras.

Sooner designated hitter Matt Oberste led the OU offense with two hits in four plate appearances, while Ross had the game-winner despite going just 1-for-5.

Only first baseman Max Muncy finished with more than one hit for Baylor.

The two are now facing off in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

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