OU beats KU 7-2 to win Big 12 baseball tourney title
05/26/2013 4:39 PM
05/26/2013 4:41 PM
Matt Oberste homered and drove in four runs, Max White scored twice and Oklahoma beat Kansas 7-2 on Sunday to win its first Big 12 tournament championship in 16 years.
The fourth-seeded Sooners (40-19) scored three times after White reached on a catcher's interference call with two outs in the first inning, and Oberste roped his 11th home run into the left-field bleachers in the third to make it 5-1. Oberste tacked on a two-run single in the ninth.
Freshman Jacob Evans (7-2), usually the team's closer, made the lead stand up by limiting Kansas to one run in five innings of relief.
Kansas (34-25), the No. 6 seed, got its only runs on sacrifice flies from Michael Suiter in the first inning and Ka'iana Eldredge in the fifth.
The Sooners, who lost to Missouri in last year's championship game, won the tournament title for the first time since the inaugural event in 1997 and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Oklahoma had been drifting toward the NCAA tournament bubble with a 2-9 stretch near the end of the regular season, but bounced back with five straight wins – including a pair against regular season champion Kansas State.
Kyle Hayes recorded the final four outs to earn his second save in as many days, tossing his mitt into the air after a called third strike against Eldredge to end the game. His teammates dog-piled on the infield in celebration.
Frank Duncan (4-6) lasted only 2 1-3 innings after getting the start for the Jayhawks, giving up five runs and six hits. Tanner Poppe came in after Oberste's homer and kept Kansas in it with five innings of scoreless relief.
After there were an average of 17 runs scored in the previous two championship games, this one featured a series of sparkling defensive plays.
Sooners second baseman Hector Lorenzana, on his way to cover second base with a runner in motion, ended the third inning when he stopped in his tracks and speared Kevin Kuntz's line drive for a double play. Evans wiggled out of a jam in the fifth when he retired Justin Protacio on a fielder's choice and snagged Kuntz's liner back to the mound to leave runners stranded on second and third.
Kuntz had a gem of his own at shortstop, ranging toward shallow center to track down a Lorenzana grounder before whirling and firing to first for the out.
The Jayhawks' only Big 12 championship came in 2006 as the No. 6 seed.
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