New look Sooners win Big 12 opener

Sooners get good pitching, timely hitting in 7-2 win over 2nd-seeded Missouri. Senior Joseph Hughes (pictured above in OU's new black jersey) drew the start and gave up two runs in four innings. Oklahoma will play Oklahoma State in Game 2 Friday night at 7 p.m. (Photo/

Oklahoma City — Sporting black jerseys instead of their traditional crimson attire, Oklahoma used their new look, along with great pitching and timely hitting, to fight off a season-high five errors and knock off second-seeded and 11th-ranked Missouri, 7-2, in their Big 12 Tournament opener Wednesday night at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

The win was Oklahoma's first in the conference tournament opener since 2002, but more importantly it gave them another quality victory to add to their NCAA Tournament resume.

"I think it helps, but I think having the 25th RPI in the country speaks volumes too," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway, whose Sooners improved to 33-23 and dropped the Tigers to 39-15. "I don't lobby, I state facts and we've got to take care of business. If we're selected to go, great. But if we're not, we're not going to say a word about it.

"Right now, we truly believe that we will be playing in the NCAA tournament because we plan on winning the Big 12 Tournament."

The Sooners trailed 1-0 after two innings, but responded with six runs over the next three innings to take a 6-2 lead. They would add a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Bryant Hernandez, and freshman pitcher Andrew Doyle came on to close the door on the Tigers in the ninth.

Aaron Ivey was 3-for-5 and Big 12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Baker added a 2-for-4 effort and with RBI. Shortstop Bryant Hernandez also added two RBI, including a his first career home run. Joe Dunigan, Aljay Davis and Jackson Williams also chipped in with one RBI apiece.

Senior Joseph Hughes drew the start and gave up two runs over the first four innings. He was replaced in the fifth by co-ace Heath Taylor, who picked up the win (9-3) and in relief giving with a spectacular performance giving up just one hit and shutting out the Tigers over the four innings.

"We couldn't play around. We had to win this ballgame," said Golloway on the decision to use Heath out of the bullpen rather than saving him to start later in the tournament against Oklahoma State or Baylor. "Heath was willing to come out of the bullpen and all of our guys have been very unselfish and willing to do whatever it takes to win. I'm very proud of our guys, but we're a long ways from being done."

The Sooners will now turn their attention to Friday night's matchup against third-seeded Oklahoma State, who swept the Sooners in the regular season series but lost to sixth-seeded Baylor, 6-3, in Wednesday's late game.

"Last time we didn't fair too well," Golloway said on the Bedlam sweep. "But the same thing happened last year. We ended up with a chance to play them in the Big 12 Tournament and it turned out well.

"I know we're a better team than we were then. It's just going to be a great game, another Bedlam, and a lot of fun."

First pitch for Friday night's Bedlam showdown is set for 7 p.m. at the Bricktown Ballpark.

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