Sooners Rally, Steal Series in Extras

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From K-State Athletics

Oklahoma left fielder Diego Muniz hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning Sunday afternoon to help the Sooners take the series rubber match with K-State, 6-3, at Tointon Family Stadium.

Oklahoma (30-15, 8-7 Big 12) scored three in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead after being shut out by K-State starter Jordan Wicks through seven innings. Cameron Thompson launched a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the eighth before the Wildcats (21-24, 6-9 Big 12) had two runners on base with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to score the winning run.

“It was right there for us, we just didn’t execute,” head coach Pete Hughes said after the game. “I love the way we battled back. We bounce back and get the home run, it’s 3-3. Then first and second no outs, we just don’t get the bunt down … That’s where you win and lose games late – who can defend and who can execute the bunt offensively. We didn’t and they did. That was the story of the game, when you replay those last few innings.

“We want to make the national tournament; we’ve got to win series. It’s a setback. We’ve got to keep the mindset of keep winning series.”

Zach Kokoska and Chris Ceballos sparked the home ninth with back-to-back singles. Pinch hitter Rainer Ausmus’ sacrifice bunt attempt forced Kokoska out at third and, later in the inning, the Cats had runners on the corners with two outs. Jeffrey Boggess popped out to end the threat and forced the game to extra innings.

The first three Sooner batters reached base in the 10th inning, beginning with a leadoff single by Tanner Tredaway off K-State reliever Mitch Zubradt. Muniz followed Tredaway with a two-run homer to break the 3-3 tie. Later in the inning, Jordan Vujovich recorded an RBI double.

Wicks scattered four hits over the first seven innings in keeping OU off the scoreboard and taking a 2-0 lead into the eighth. The freshman’s day ended after a walk, a double by Milan Walla and an RBI single by Tredaway to start the eighth. Zubradt entered the game with two on and no out, as the Sooners went on to plate three runs on three hits before a Wildcat double play ended the frame.

Zubradt, a senior, took the loss after giving up three earned runs on three hits over two innings.

K-State got its first run in the bottom of the third, as it loaded the bases before an out was recorded. Caleb Littlejim led off with a single while Jaxon Passino and Blake Burrows each legged out bunt singles. Littlejim came home on a double play ball to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

Ceballos’ RBI single tacked on a run in the fourth. The junior catcher drove in his team-leading 30th RBI, scoring Kokoska who singled and stole second.

Will Brennan, Ceballos and Kokoska all had two hits in the game to lead the Wildcats. Thompson hit his fifth home of the season – all coming over the last nine games.

“It’s a good team,” added Hughes of his squad. “The kids battled back like crazy. They never give up. They never get down. That’s progress when you’re changing a culture.”

K-State chased OU starter Ben Abram after 3 2/3 innings. The Cats managed two runs and five hits off Abram.

Tredaway led the Sooners with his 3-for-4 day, while Muniz ended 2-for-5 with three RBI. Vujovich drove in a pair after entering the game as a pinch hitter.

Sooner closer Jason Ruffcorn picked up the victory following two shutout innings of relief.

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Mitch Fortner

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