Davis, Hensley Combine on No-Hitter, Sooners Beat WVU 13-0

Saturday, 23 March 2024 13:53

Davis, Hensley Combine on No-Hitter, Sooners Beat WVU 13-0

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Davis, Hensley Combine on No-Hitter, Sooners Beat WVU 13-0 OU Athletics Communications

NORMAN — Juniors Braden Davis and Reid Hensley pitched a combined no-hitter, totaling 15 strikeouts, as No. 17 Oklahoma shut out West Virginia 13-0 to open the teams' Big 12 conference series Friday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Davis (2-1) struck out a career-high 12 batters over 7.0 innings, allowing only two walks, while Hensley tossed the final two frames, striking out three and walking one. The 15 total strikeouts tied a season high for the OU pitching staff.

Not outshone by the mound performance, Oklahoma's bats were rolling from the get-go. The Sooners (14-7, 7-0 Big 12) scored a run in the bottom of the first inning on a rocket double by first baseman Michael Snyder, then poured on 12 runs from the third through fifth innings. Snyder went 2 for 3 and drove in three runs and left fielder Kendall Pettis notched four RBIs, including a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning.

The no-hitter was the program's ninth all-time and the second combined effort. OU's last no-hitter was a solo feat by Dane Acker against LSU on March 1, 2020. The last combined no-hitter was on March 9, 2005, against Arkansas-Pine Bluff by six pitchers (Kevin Duke, John Browenn, Daniel McCutchen, Ryan Mottern, Will Savage and P.J. Sandoval).

This was the second no-hitter recorded in Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson's tenure.

"Braden was executing pitches," Johnson said. "When he gets to where he can execute pitches and keep them off bay and off balance, we're a good club. The offense helped, scoring those runs and giving (him) a bit of an easier time. You don't have to be perfect so much. He kind of fed off their aggression at times, but they're good and he executed pitches. Reid came in and did the job. I had to go in the last inning and tell him, hey man, you can't strike somebody out if you don't throw it to the target. He was trying to strike everybody out, but just had to throw it to the target. Just execute the pitch because that's the most important thing."

The Mountaineers (12-10, 2-2 Big 12) only managed four baserunners, none of which advanced past the first bag. Davis allowed only a two-out walk in the second inning and a one-out walk in the fifth. A fielding error in the third inning was erased when catcher Scott Mudler threw down to shortstop Anthony Mackenzie, who tagged the runner trying to steal.

Following the fifth-inning walk, Davis ended the frame with two strikeouts and went on to punch out the side in the sixth and seventh innings, ending his outing with eight straight strikeouts. Hensley entered to start the eighth inning and retired six of his seven batters, striking out three. In the ninth, substitute first baseman Rocco Garza-Gongora caught a pop up in the shallow grass behind first base, right fielder Bryce Madron ran down a fly ball in right center, and Hensley got the final out with a swinging miss.

Davis said he started feeling good about his performance in the fifth inning.

"I think I might've ended with a punch out," Davis said. "I was pretty fired up then, so I just tried to keep the momentum going as long as I could."

In the top of the fifth, freshman third baseman Isaiah Lane, standing on the front edge of the infield dirt, made a leaping grab of a line drive for the first out of the frame.

"It's one of those ones where it's hit hard off the bat. You snap your head and see if anyone's there, and Isaiah was there, and he made the play," Davis said. 

Offensively, the Sooners took advantage of 10 hits, 12 walks and two WVU errors. In the five-run third inning, Snyder singled up the middle to score Madron, designated hitter Easton Carmichael scored on a fielder's choice by left fielder Kendall Pettis and Snyder scored on a failed pickoff throw that got away down the right field line. Mackenzie then singled home Pettis and scored on a hit-and-run double shot down the left field line by Mudler.

Madron and Carmichael singled to begin the fourth and scored on a wild pitch and a groundout. Mackenzie later doubled home second baseman Jackson Nicklaus, who reached on a single. Nicklaus drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, and Pettis followed with his three-run double to left field.

The Sooners and Mountaineers conclude their series with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. CT Saturday. The series finale, originally scheduled for Sunday, was moved up to Saturday due to forecasted inclement weather.

Both of Saturday's games can be seen via SoonerVision on ESPN+ and heard locally in Oklahoma on SportsTalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM or nationwide on The Varsity app. Live stats can be found at OUStats.com. 

Fans who purchased tickets for Sunday's game can be used for the second game of the Saturday doubleheader with entry beginning at 5 p.m. CT. Season ticket holders must redownload their tickets via the Oklahoma Sooners app. Fans who cannot attend may contact the OU ticket office at 405-325-2424 for information about exchanging tickets or refunds. 

Single game tickets and mini-plan options are available via SoonerSports.com/tickets.

For updates and more information on Oklahoma baseball, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Baseball) and like Oklahoma Baseball on Facebook.


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