A very good start to the final series of the regular season.
Looking to bounce back from a rough loss on Monday night to Wichita State, No. 24 Oklahoma returned to action on Thursday evening for the first of a three-game set at No. 6 Texas Tech to close out the regular season.
Eyeing a fifth consecutive series win, the Sooners got off on the right foot, downing the Red Raiders 13-8 at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock, TX.
Making his final regular season start was left-hander Jake Bennett, who overcame some early struggles to give Skip Johnson another quality outing.
The Sooners ace tossed six innings allowing just four runs, earning the victory to improve his season mark to 6-3.
OU wouldn’t wait long to start scoring in this one, with leadoff hitter John Spikerman opening the game with a solo home run.
Texas Tech, however, would get that run right back and then some in the bottom half of the inning striking for three runs.
After adding another in the second, the Red Raiders held a 4-1 lead after two frames.
The Sooners then cut into the deficit in the third, scoring two runs on a Jackson Nicklaus solo homer as well Kendall Pettis coming across on a groundout off the bat of Spikerman.
The score remained 4-3 into the fifth, where Oklahoma retook the lead striking for a pair of runs on a huge two-run shot from shortstop Peyton Graham.
The big inning of the game would follow in the sixth, as the Sooners bats had themselves a home run derby to extend the OU lead to five runs.
Tanner Tredaway and Jimmy Crooks each hit solo shots with Brett Squires closing the inning’s scoring with a two-run blast to have the Sooners suddenly leading comfortably at 9-4.
Oklahoma added another run the following inning, with Tredaway coming in to score on a defensive error. OU led 10-4 at the seventh inning stretch.
In the ninth, the Sooners added another three runs with Squires connecting on an RBI single and Pettis tacking on two more with a two-run knock.
After Bennett exited the game following his six strong innings, the Sooners’ bullpen would finish the job.
After scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth from Carson Atwood and Trevin Michael, the Red Raiders would show signs of life in the ninth going for four runs - but still coming up well short of making up the deficit with OU locking up the 13-8 victory.
The win moves the Sooners to 32-19 on the year and 14-8 in Big 12 play - keeping their hopes of a conference title alive for another day.
The middle game of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday night back at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock.