Gray powers OU to series win over Tech

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners took care of business, knocking off Texas Tech 6-2 in game two, and will look for the series sweep Sunday.

Different day, same story.

With Dillon Overton out due to a forearm strain, ace Jonathan Gray shifted to the Saturday spot and had his normal dominant stuff, fanning seven in 7 1/3 solid innings of one-run ball to propel the Sooners to a series clinching 6-2 victory in front of a season-high 2,668 fans.

That included strikeout victims in each of the first five batters for the Red Raiders.

"That felt really good," said Gray, who impressed in front of many scouts and general managers in attendance. "I mean, the two dominant innings were my favorite, but everything else worked out, too."

He carried a no-hitter with him until the sixth inning and allowed just four base runners on a pair of hits and walks in the contest before being chased in the eighth.

For the second straight day this weekend and fifth consecutive game, the Sooner offense backed up its pitcher as well.

"Just to get our bats back in the lineup was really great," said OU first baseman Matt Oberste.

And again, it started in the first inning.

OU first got on the board when Tech second baseman Bryant Burleson booted a routine grounder that allowed Oberste to race home.

Right fielder Colt Bickerstaff delivered a two-run double after that to put OU up 3-0 after one.

"Let's remember they took their eyes off a ground ball that went through the wickets," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "I understand that. But again, we had guys on base to be able to score when that happened. You know, we put pressure on them."

The Sooners added two more in the sixth on Oberste's double to right that proved to be really crucial.

That's because Tech finally broke through with a pair of runs in the eighth, snapping a scoreless streak of 24 1/3 innings by OU's pitching staff.

While Gray was tagged for one of the two, Tech did most of the damage off Ralph Garza Jr.

Burleson and third baseman Jake Barrios each managed RBI singles off the Sooner reliever who gave up three hits and an earned run in 1/3 inning.

But Jacob Evans came in and slammed the door shut with a pair of base runners still aboard and worked a spotless ninth.

Before that, OU spotted him some insurance on a Craig Aikin RBI single up the middle.

The Sooners (33-10, 10-5 Big 12), winners of five straight now after dropping three in a row, will look for the sweep when the two clubs conclude the series at 1 p.m. CT Sunday.

"We've always felt like getting two out of three is gonna be the key and if you get the first two, then you can talk about the sweep," Golloway said. "So, now what? Tomorrow becomes about in the standings, trying to separate in the standings. Is it important when you're in first place? It's huge."

OU's Ethan Carnes (2-1, 3.65 ERA) is expected to face Tech's Corey Taylor (2-4, 6.64 ERA) with the Sooners currently leading the conference race by a game and a half over second-place Kansas State and Baylor.

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