Sooners outlast Golden Eagles in 9-8 marathon

NORMAN, Okla. — Catcher Mac James put his stamp on the OU record books, lining a game-winning single into center in the bottom of the 15th to win 9-8 in a game that matched the longest in club history.

Catcher Mac James put his stamp on the OU record books, lining a game-winning single into center in the bottom of the 15th to win 9-8 in a game that matched the longest in club history.

Only one other time had the Sooners played that length; it ended in a 5-4 triumph over Kansas State dating all the way back to April 18, 1964.

It eventually also became the longest contest in the Sunny Golloway era and the first time OU played at least 14 innings since falling 11-7 to Oklahoma State back on May 16, 2002.

A total of five hours and four minutes spanned from start to finish, and 505 pitches were thrown in the marathon affair.

It distanced that much in this one in large part to OU's ineffectiveness with runners in scoring position.

The Sooners finished a poor 5-of-27 when in that circumstance, including stranding runners at third in the 12th, 13th and 14th innings.

ORU, though, also had its fair share of problems, too, recording leadoff singles in the 12th, 13th and 15th innings of extra play but unable to do anything with it.

Three different pitchers—all relievers—threw more than 40 pitches for the Sooners, as Jacob Evans came in and tossed five scoreless innings, while striking out six, walking three and allowing just three hits en route to earning the victory.

ORU's Tryon Taylor, who surrendered the ultimate deciding earned run and two hits, plus a walk, while striking out one in 2 2/3 innings, was tagged with the loss.

Many hours prior to the conclusion, designated hitter Matt Oberste extended his near-record long hitting streak to 25—he's now tied with former Sooner Derek Wathan—in the first inning.

That's when the Sooners jumped out early with a four-run first that all started with a pair of singles and a hit by pitch.

An error allowed the first run to be plated, and then right fielder Max White scampered home on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Second baseman Hector Lorenzana followed up with an RBI single to right, and catcher Anthony Hermelyn laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that boosted OU's advantage to 4-0.

ORU struck back, though, with a crooked six spot of their own in the ensuing inning.

A bases loaded walk that chased starter Corey Copping, an RBI single by shortstop Nate Goro and following sacrifice fly cut the deficit to just one at 4-3.

Then, ORU left fielder Logan Domenico singled to score another and even things up and a wild pitch allowed the Golden Eagles to take the lead before second baseman Matt Brandy's RBI single capped off the inning.

ORU added two more to double up OU in the fourth when Domenico picked up his second RBI single of the evening, and Brandy followed suit singling through the left side to score him.

But the Sooners made their surge in the sixth when Lorenzana and Hermelyn reached on a single and walk, respectively, and left fielder Hunter Haley pasted a two-run, standup triple to left center to cut the lead in half.

Consecutive singles by center fielder Craig Aikin, White and Oberste set the stage for more damage in the seventh.

Aikin raced home on a bases-loaded wild pitch, carving the ORU lead to just 8-7.

Third baseman Garrett Carey then came through when he put a tough two-out ball into play that ORU's Goro couldn't handle at short, resulting in an error and 8-8 tie that wouldn't be broken for 7 ½ innings.

Oberste led the way for the Sooners, smashing out four hits in six official at bats, while also walking twice.

Haley also tallied four hits, and Aikin and Lorenzana each managed two.

For the Golden Eagles, Domenico's 3-for-5 performance with two RBI led the way.

Four others finished with a pair of hits.

Copping, returning off an injury, threw just 30 pitches and exited after an inning plus and striking out three, plus walking two.

ORU starter Kurt Giller logged five innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits.

The Sooners and Golden Eagles conclude the two-game midweek set at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday.

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