NORMAN – Peyton Graham and Jimmy Crooks homered, but the Oklahoma baseball team was unable to complete the Big 12 conference series sweep against Baylor, falling 16-8 Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners (14-8, 2-1 Big 12) fell behind the Bears early on Sunday but battled back to the tie the game at 7-all after five innings. Baylor (12-11, 2-4 Big 12) scored five runs in the seventh inning and three more in the ninth to win the game.
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Oklahoma cut it to 3-2 in the second, then scored two runs in the fourth to make the score 5-4 and three runs in the fifth to tie it, 7-7.
Crooks put the Sooners on the board in the second inning with his first home run of the season. Graham hit a two-run blast down the left field line in the fifth that was reminiscent of his walk-off grand slam on Saturday. Tanner Tredaway went 3 for 4 with three RBIs to complete a big weekend in which he hit .455 and drove in seven runs.
“I thought the offense kept us in the game,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “We grinded it out on the mound, and then get to a point where we’re tied but we gave up a run, then another run and a couple of unearned runs. It’s hard to come back. It took the air out of us. We scratched back and scratched back to tie the game, but (Baylor) did a good job – credit to them – of keeping the momentum on their side. We never got the momentum, or when we got it, we couldn’t sustain it. Our goal is to win a series, and we’d love to sweep them, but it wasn’t in the cards this week.”
Tredaway followed Crooks’ homer with a double, and then scored on an error after he stole third base. In the fourth, the super senior dropped a two-run single into left center field to make the score 5-4. After Graham’s homer in the fifth inning, Tredaway drove in his third run of the day, singling home Blake Robertson to make it seven apiece.
Baylor scored early runs on a two-run double by Jared McKenzie and a wild pitch in the first inning, a sacrifice fly in the third and an RBI groundout in the fourth. Tre Richardson, who had four hits and scored five runs in the game, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and Harrison Caley hit an RBI single. BU took the lead again with a run in the sixth inning, and three errors contributed to the Bears’ five-run seventh. Caley hit a two-run single as part of the three-run ninth inning.
The Sooners scored a run in the bottom of the ninth when Jackson Nicklaus hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Diego Muniz. Baylor reliever Cam Caley (1-0) earned the win and Jake Jackson the save, while OU reliever Carson Atwood (2-3) was saddled with the loss.
Oklahoma plays four games against its biggest rivals this week, beginning with a non-conference Bedlam showdown against Oklahoma State on Tuesday at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Sooners then travel to Arlington, Texas, April 1-3, for the Red River Rivalry against Texas at Globe Life Field. Game times for the Big 12 conference series are 6:30 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday.