Sooners' Ninth Inning Rally Downs KU, 3-2

May 27, 2010

Kansas Postgame Press Conference

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Cody Reine’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning erased a one-run deficit as No. 12 Oklahoma rallied in its final at bat for the third-straight game, defeating Kansas 3-2 Wednesday night in the first round of the Big 12 Baseball Championship at Bricktown Ballpark.

The Sooners move to 43-14 overall and 1-0 in pool play, while the Jayhawks drop their fourth-straight to OU, falling to 31-25-1 overall and 0-1 in the tournament.

For the third time in as many games, Oklahoma faced a late deficit, but used clutch hitting in the ninth inning to down the Jayhawks. On Wednesday, trailing 2-1, third baseman Garrett Buechele led off the final inning with a single.

Eric Ross pinch ran for Buechele and moved to second on a sacrifice and stole third on a one-out walk to catcher Tyler Ogle. Reine watched two pitches sail out of the strike zone before blasting a drive to center field over the head of Brian Heere to plate both runs in another dramatic victory over the Jayhawks.

The ninth inning rally spoiled an otherwise stellar performance by Walz. The junior right-handed pitcher tossed a season high 8 1/3 innings, and allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts. He retired the leadoff hitter in seven of the nine innings he pitched. However, both leadoff men who reached base eventually scored.

Kansas got on the board in the second inning on an infield hit and a throwing error by Oklahoma’s shortstop Caleb Bushyhead. Tony Thompson led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Brett Lisher’s single.

Oklahoma answered in the fifth with an unearned run. Right fielder Cody Reine led off the inning with a single and moved over to third on a sacrifice and a passed ball. The Sooners scored the run on an error by the Kansas shortstop.

In the sixth, Kansas regained the lead on a sacrifice fly by Thompson. Brandon Macias was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning while Robby Price moved him into scoring position with a single to right. That set up Thompson’s fly out to right, which produced his 38th RBI this season.

Thompson and Price led the Jayhawk offense, which collected just five hits against OU starting pitcher Michael Rocha. Oklahoma reliever Jeremy Erben picked up the win after earning saves in two straight games over the weekend.

The game, which was originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start, threw first pitch at 10:41 p.m. after a two hour, 54 minute rain delay in the previous game between Kansas State and Baylor.

Kansas will face in-state rival Kansas State on Friday at 3 p.m. at Bricktown Ballpark in the second round of pool play at the Big 12 Championship.