Junior infielder Matt Oberste's one-out, three-run home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning propelled the No. 14-ranked University of Oklahoma baseball team to a 7-4 victory over Hofstra Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman and secured a four-game weekend series sweep.
The walk-off win was the second in as many games for the Sooners. Oklahoma (4-0) beat the Pride (0-4), 11-10, in 11 innings Saturday night in the second game of a doubleheader.
"There are a lot of different ways to win, and we were pushed to the limit," said eighth-year OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "And again, had we dropped a game last night, I would have been disappointed with the loss, but, at this point, it's about teaching the young guys."
Oklahoma's ninth-inning push began with senior infielder Jack Mayfield smacking a one-out single to left center. Senior outfielder/infielder Max White followed by drawing a walk, setting the stage for Oberste's blast off a 1-0 pitch from Hofstra senior right-handed reliever Cody Normand.
OU last posted back-to-back wins in walk-off fashion on May 23-24, 2012, at the 2012 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City. The Sooners defeated Oklahoma State, 3-2, before knocking off Baylor, 1-0, the following day.
Oberste capped off a big opening weekend with his game-winning bomb. He hit .429 with six hits - including a double, a triple and a homer - while driving in a team-high nine runs. His clutch hitting helped the Sooners rally for a three-run ninth inning Saturday night, as he cracked a two-out, two-RBI single to knot the contest at 10-all and send the game into extras.
Oberste's blast negated a furious eighth-inning rally by Hofstra, which plated three runs in the top of the frame to tie the contest at four-all. Senior shortstop Dalton Rouleau got things rolling by drawing a one-out walk, then moved to third on a double to right field by senior outfielder Taylor Stuart. Senior outfielder/infielder Austin Nyman drove both of them in with a two bagger to left. Nyman then stole third and scored to tie the game by way of an infield base hit to short by junior designated hitter Bryan Verbitsky.
Hofstra's rally spoiled a solid career debut by freshman righty Corey Copping, who fanned four over seven frames while allowing just one run on two hits and two walks.
The Sooners grabbed an early lead with two runs in the home half of the first. Mayfield sent a one-out single to left field to start things off, then scored on a single by White and a fielding error by Hofstra junior outfielder Kenny Jackson. White advanced to third on the play and then tagged up and scored when Oberste served up a sacrifice fly to center to increase OU's edge to 2-0.
Hofstra shaved Oklahoma's advantage to one run when Verbitsky was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the ensuing frame and scored one out later on a single up the middle junior catcher Matt Reistetter.
Oklahoma made it a two-run ballgame again in the fourth inning. Senior infielder Garrett Carey coaxed a leadoff walk and moved up 90 feet courtesy of a sacrifice bunt by freshman catcher Anthony Hermelyn. Freshman infielder/outfielder Hunter Haley plated Carey with a base hit to right to make it 3-1 in favor of the Sooners.
The Sooners tacked on their third run in the seventh. Freshman outfielder Craig Aikin drew a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mayfield, then scored by way of a single back up the middle by White.
White led OU at the plate Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Mayfield went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. White hit .429 for the weekend with six hits, three RBI and four runs scored.
Redshirt sophomore right-handed reliever Robert Tasin earned the mound triumph for OU, tossing a perfect top of the ninth.
Oklahoma hosts Arkansas Pine Bluff Tuesday and Wednesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Both contests are slated to begin at 3 p.m., with Tuesday's matchup being broadcast live on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
P.O. Box 8 Tulsa, OK 74101-0008