OU Baseball: Mudler Hits Walk Off, Sooners Complete Sweep

Monday, 15 April 2024 07:38

OU Baseball: Mudler Hits Walk Off, Sooners Complete Sweep

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NORMAN — Junior Scott Mudler had the walk-off hit as Oklahoma completed the three-game conference sweep of Kansas State with an 8-7 win Sunday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. 

After a one-out double from senior Anthony Mackenzie in the bottom of the ninth, Mudler laced a two-out RBI single to right field to walk off the Wildcats and keep the Sooners on top of the Big 12 standings. 

"It's always huge to win," said OU head coach Skip Johnson. "It helps your confidence to win in that fashion, picking each other up through the whole day. We did it on the first (Big 12) weekend with UCF, we did it against TCU, even at times last weekend. But to sustain a whole series, it takes a focus and concentration to do it from at-bat to at-bat. It's easy to talk about but hard to do."

The Sooners (21-14, 11-4 Big 12) opened the scoring in the second inning behind the first of two home runs from freshman Jaxon Willits. The shortstop hit a two-run shot over the right field wall to make it 2-0 through two. 

In the top of the third, OU starting LHP Grant Stevens stranded one runner with a pair of strikeouts. The redshirt senior retired nine of his first 11 batters faced. The offense gave Stevens and the pitching staff more run support in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits. 

Following singles from sophomore Easton Carmichael and Mackenzie, Mudler ripped an RBI single to left center to score one. The next at-bat, Willits launched his second home run of the game and fifth in the last seven contests, a three-run shot to right. 

The Wildcats (21-13, 7-8) clawed back with four runs on four hits in the top of the fifth. A leadoff single led to a two-run home run then a two-run double later in the frame made it 6-4 Sooners after five. 

Kansas State would tie the contest at the top of the seventh on an RBI single and double play that allowed the runner at third to score. 

In the bottom of the eighth, after a one-out walk drawn by freshman Isaiah Lane, junior John Spikerman entered as a pinch runner. It marked Spikerman's first game played since a hand injury March 16 at TCU. The junior speedster stole second and scored on a ball smoked to second base by sophomore Rocco Garza-Gongora to put the Sooners ahead, 7-6. 

The Wildcats tied the game again at the top of the ninth on a solo shot, setting the stage for OU's walk-off victory. 

In the bottom of the ninth, after Mackenzie's one-out double, his seventh of the season, Mudler stepped to the plate and dropped in a single to right field that allowed Mackenzie to race home and beat the throw to the plate for OU's second walk-off win of the season. 

The series sweep was OU's third in 2024 conference play, marking the first time the program has swept three Big 12 series in a season since 2018. 

RHP Ryan Lambert (W, 3-0) earned the win in relief. Stevens went four innings to start the game, scattering five hits, two runs and one walk to go with five strikeouts. Relievers Brendan Girton (2.0 IP), Carter Campbell (2.0), Carson Atwood (0.1) and Jamie Hitt (0.1) all saw action out of the pen with Girton fanning three and Campbell and Atwood striking out one each. 

At the plate, four Sooners recorded multi-hit games and Willits paced the team with five RBIs in a 2-for-4 performance. 

Up next, Oklahoma travels to Provo, Utah, to match up with BYU, April 18-20. The three-game Big 12 set can be seen via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and heard locally in Oklahoma on SportsTalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM or nationwide on The Varsity app.

Single-game tickets and mini-plan options for home games at L. Dale Mitchell Park 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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