Sooners brush aside TCU 4-3

NORMAN, Okla. — For the third time this week and the second time this weekend, the Sooners walked off in extras, as left fielder Hunter Haley capped off a three-run comeback with a sacrifice fly and they walked off 4-3 in the 10th to sweep the TCU Horned Frogs.

For the third time this week and the second time this weekend, the Sooners walked off in extras, as left fielder Hunter Haley capped off a three-run comeback with a sacrifice fly and they walked off 4-3 in the 10th to sweep their preseason expected Big 12 challenger TCU Horned Frogs.

"Oh yeah, that's huge," Haley said. "I mean, because like you just said, they came in expecting to be the big dogs and we put it on ‘em three games in a row. So, it feels good."

First baseman Matt Oberste, chasing history with his now 26-game hitting streak—a computer glitch for OU previously suggested he had broke the record—set the stage with a single, moving over to second on a bunt and advancing to third on a passed ball.

"I think our guys understand the importance of what we're trying to do," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "And again, you know, we bunt Obe up and then ball's bobbled and Obe's a great base runner. He gets to third. And if we don't bunt him up, he's not gonna be standing at third base. He'd be standing at second.

"So again, our whole philosophy is just put pressure on the defense by putting guys in scoring position with either one out or with two outs. And in this case we were able to get him there in the right amount of outs."

Catcher Anthony Hermelyn made it all possible by tying things up at square one when he roped a two-run double into the left center gap in the bottom of the sixth, making it 3-3.

That came after center fielder Craig Aikin beat out an infield RBI single the previous inning, all helping OU erase a three-run deficit.

The Horned Frogs took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Jantzen Witte and RBI single by second baseman Paul Hendrix.

They added another the following inning after catcher Kyle Bacak singled through the right side and Sooner right fielder Max White airmailed a throw to third into the Sooner dugout.

"I was disappointed because the two runs in the third got on by base on ball and by a hit by pitch and they both end up scoring and then the one run in the fourth is when Max White decides he's gonna throw the ball out of the stadium and show his arm strength, which is not fundamentally sound," Golloway said. "And I was really disappointed, huddled the team up right there and said, ‘That's not what got us here and go back to fundamentals. We gotta get leadoff hitters out. We can't walk people, and we gotta make sure we played fundamental baseball, hit our cutoff men and just slow it down.'"

That seemed to light a fire because perhaps the biggest moment in the game came with TCU holding that 3-0 lead and threatening for a lot more with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.

Reliever Jake Fisher, who walked his first batter, then fanned a batter, forced a pop up, and grounded out another to retire the Horned Frogs unscathed.

"It was huge," Golloway said. "I mean, it was terrific. Again, we play a little bit different style. I mean, they had opportunities first and second no outs to bunt guys up and then they got a fly ball to center field, but they chose not to bunt him up in two different occasions."

The rest of the bullpen, including Ethan Carnes and Jacob Evans, polished it off with three more scoreless innings of work.

Evans eventually got the win—he struck out two in a hitless and scoreless two innings—while TCU's Trevor Seidenberger got the loss.

OU starter Adam Choplick distanced just three innings, allowing two hits, two walks and striking out four while surrendering a pair of earned runs.

Though the Sooners battled back for yet another come-from-behind win, Golloway was not pleased about the simple aspect of falling behind again.

"The plan of attack was to get on top of them early because the north wind's blowing in their dugout," Golloway said. "They've lost two and we felt like they'd be down. So, that shows you how well the kids listen to their coach, giving them three runs early."

Still, it's a win and the Sooners (22-4, 3-0 Big 12) will take them any way they can get them.

They pounded out 13 hits, including three each from Aikin and Hermelyn and two from Haley and Oberste.

TCU finished with nine hits, as Hendrix belted out three in five plate appearances with a walk as well.

OU caps off a perfect 10-0 home stand to head to ORU for a 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday contest on a 10-game winning streak.

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