NORMAN – Oklahoma fell behind 8-0 in the first inning. It was all a mirage.
The Sooners rallied to take the lead in the seventh on a three-run home run by Tanner Tredaway, and OU beat Oral Roberts 14-12 on a windy Tuesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Sooners (14-14) hit three home runs, including a first-inning grand slam by Conor McKenna and a two-run homer in the fourth by Brett Squires that tied the game 10-all. The Golden Eagles (12-16) hit four home runs – a two-run shot in the first inning and solo home runs in the second, fifth and seventh innings.
Luke Taggart (1-3) struck out five batters over 3 1/3 innings in relief to earn his first victory at OU, and Jason Ruffcorn held the lead in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season. Ledgend Smith struck out five over 2 2/3 relief innings before turning the ball over to Taggart. ORU reliever Cade Denton (1-1) took the loss.
OU trailed 8-0 in the first inning and 10-4 in the second inning before pulling within 10-8 in the bottom of the second.
“It was the first time all year we played through something that happened in the first inning,” Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. “Ledgend was fantastic and Luke was really good. We played through something that we hadn’t played through all year, and that’s a good sign.”
McKenna’s grand slam in the first inning was his second slam and sixth home run of the season. The two-out homer was preceded by two hit batters and a walk, and it reduced Oklahoma’s deficit to 8-4.
OU continued chipping away with four more runs in the second inning on a two-run single by Diego Muniz and a two-run double by Squires, cutting ORU’s lead to 10-8. Squires’ two-run opposite-field homer in the fourth inning tied it 10-10. He finished the game 2-for-4 with four RBIs, hitting his second home run of the year (both in the last three games).
After solo home runs by Oral Roberts’ Anthony Martinez in the fifth inning and Alec Jones in the seventh made it 12-10, Tredaway hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh. He launched a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall to put the Sooners on top, 13-12, for the first time in the game.
Oklahoma added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Jimmy Crooks walked and later scored on a passed ball to make it a 14-12 lead.
Oral Roberts scored eight runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Joshua Cox, an error, a walk to Jones, and two-run doubles by Martinez and Ryan Cash. The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 10-4 in the second inning on a homer by Cox and an RBI single by Jordan Wiley.
The Sooners face Kansas in a three-game Big 12 conference series this weekend at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.