February 28, 2014

Baseball Drops 8-4 Contest to Oklahoma

SURPRISE, ARIZ. — Santa Clara baseball scored early and late in Friday's contest with Oklahoma, but fell to the Sooners 8-4 in the second game of the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The loss puts the Broncos at 5-6 while the Sooners improve their record to 7-3. Santa Clara plays another Big XII opponent tomorrow in the Oklahoma State Cowboys for a 4 p.m. MST (3 p.m. PST) first pitch.

Center Fielder Greg Harisis led off the Santa Clara first with a double down the left field line. He advanced to third on a groundout from second baseman Zach Looney and scored on an RBI groundout from third baseman Max Kuhns.

Santa Clara's Steven Wilson (L, 0-1) threw six innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts. After surrendering the first inning run, Oklahoma starter Adam Choplick (W, 2-1) retired 14 consecutive batters between the final out of the second and the first out of the seventh. He threw 6.2 innings and allowed one earned run on four hits, walked one and struck out six. 

The Sooners pulled ahead 2-1 on a pair of RBI doubles in the third; right fielder Hunter Haley recorded the game-tying RBI as part of a three -hit night and first baseman Niko Buentello put Oklahoma in front two batters later. Leadoff hitter and center fielder Craig Aikin hit an RBI groundout in the fourth and designated hitter Sheldon Neuse followed with a two-out RBI, single to put the home team in front 4-1. Aikin's second RBI of the game came on a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the fifth Sooner run.

Harisis led off the home half of the eighth with his second hit of the afternoon to extend his multi-hit streak to five games. Catcher Stevie Berman tied Harisis with a team-best two hits, the second of which sparked a two-out rally and moved the Santa Clara leadoff hitter to third. Designated hitter Casey Munoz hit a three-run homer — his first of the season — to bring the Broncos within one run of the Sooners at 5-4. Santa Clara recorded four of their seven hits in the seventh and eighth innings of the loss.

Oklahoma added three runs in a ninth inning that featured consecutive hit batters, a Santa Clara error and a two-RBI double by catcher Mac James. The Broncos used two pinch hitters and could not get a baserunner in their half of the ninth.

Game Notes: First pitch was at 4:00 p.m. MST … time of game was 2:40 … attendance was 155.