OU baseball's offense explodes in 16-4 win over Alabama

FILE PHOTO — OU's Steele Walker dives back to first during the Sooners' game agaisnt Alabama, Friday, March 2, 2018, at L. Dale Mitchell Park. OU beat Alabama 16-4 on Saturday. 

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

Kyle Mendenhall won’t soon forget Oklahoma’s series against Alabama.

The senior’s four hits, including a two-run home run in the sixth, highlighted OU baseball’s 16-4 rout over the Crimson Tide on Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Mendenhall hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning Friday to beat Alabama, and went 4 for 5 with three RBIs in game two to give OU the series.

Friday’s extra-inning game was OU’s fourth this season, which coach Skip Johnson argued afterward might not be a bad thing.

“Sometimes adversity makes some men break. It makes others break records,” OU coach Skip Johnson said.

The Sooners responded with their best offensive showing through the season’s first two weeks.

They erupted for eight runs in the eighth inning and pounded 17 hits total, with six players — Mendenhall, Brandon Zaragoza (3 RBIs), Steele Walker, Brady Lindsly, Brylie Ware and Cade Cavalli — producing two or more.

Ware had his first offensive outbreak of the year. The third baseman finished with a team-high five RBIs, and his two-run single gave OU a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With a 2-1 edge in the fourth, the Sooners scored four more runs, highlighted by Ware’s double down the right-field line.

The Sooners (6-5) got to Alabama starter Jake Walters (1-1) for six runs on six hits.

OU’s Dylan Grove (1-0) earned his first win after entering in the fifth inning for starter Devon Perez. Grove walked four batters but didn’t allow a hit or run in 1 2/3 innings.

Alabama (9-2) came into the series unbeaten will try to avoid a sweep Sunday when the series begins its conclusion at noon.

OU right-hander Kyle Tyler (0-0, 3.24) is scheduled to start. Alabama has not released its starter.


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