Sooners rally past Missouri in conference opener

Sooners begin Big 12 conference play with 10-9 win over Missouri in extra innings

The Oklahoma baseball team rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to push the game into extra innings where they eventually pulled out a 10-9 win over the Missouri Tigers in 13 innings at Dale Mitchell Park in Norman.

The Sooners trailed the Tigers most of the game and went into the ninth down 9-5 before rallying with two outs to tie the game.

With one out, senior Charlie Frasier and Jason Fransz singled to put runners on first and second. With two outs, freshman Matt Bose doubled home one run to make the score 9-6.

Pinch-hitter Tyler Johnson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and sophomore shortstop Denver Kitch stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-run single to pull the Sooners within one.

Junior center fielder Reggie Willits then came up up with an RBI single to tie the game before Eddie Cornejo lined out to right field to end the inning.

In the 13th, Kitch led off with a single and promptly stole second, his ninth stolent base of the year. Willits, at the plate with an 0-2 count and Kitch on second, hit an RBI single up the middle to score Kitch with the winning run.

Rocky Cherry started and struggled, but managed to get through 5 1/3 innings giving up eight hits, eight runs, but only five earned. Freshman lefthander David Percy relieved Cherry in the sixth and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, but from that point on threw three innings of shutout ball. Jarod McAuliff came on in the 10th with one out and retired five hitters in a row. Star hurler Mark Roberts shut down the Tigers in the 12th and was the winning pitcher running his record to 2-1.

Willits had a super game at the plate going 3-for-6 with one run and three RBI. Cornejo was also 3-for-6 with a run scored. Fransz was 2-for-6 with his fourth homer of the year and two RBI. Bose finished 3-for-6 with two runs and one RBI. Kitch had his best offensive game of the year going 4-for-6 with two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base. Kitch's tremendous speed put the Sooners in a position to win the game in the 13th.

The Sooners are now 9-4 on the year and 1-0 in Big 12 Conference play, while Missouri is 5-5 and 0-1 in Conference play.

The two teams play the second game of the series Saturday at Dale Mitchell at 1:00 p.m.

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