Oklahoma Scores Early And Holds On In 7-5 Win Over 11th-Ranked Baseball

March 17, 2002

MESA, Ariz. -- The Oklahoma Sooners scored a pair of runs right out of the gates in the first inning and held off a late Sun Devil rally in a 7-5 victory over 11th-ranked Arizona State Sunday night at Hohokam Stadium.

Stranding 10 runners on base in the first seven innings, the Sooners finally cashed in on a big inning with four runs in the top of the eighth to blow open what was a 3-2 game heading into the frame. The win gave the Sooners its seventh win the last eight games and clinched a 2-1 series win in Sunday's rubber match. Arizona State has now lost three of its last four games to fall to 16-8 on the year. It was ASU's second series loss at home this year, also losing 2-1 to nationally ranked Cal State Fullerton.

OU starter Austin Mix improved to 4-1 on the year by scattering five hits and allowing only two runs in six innings of work. The junior struck out six and walked two in his outing. Freshman relief pitcher David Purcey struck out the side in the ninth inning to record his fourth save of the year.

ASU starter Bryce Kartler was shaky in his sixth start of the year, recording his first loss of 2002 to fall to 2-1. He gave up a season-high 10 hits and allowed three runs in five and two-thirds innings.

After a leadoff walk in the first, the Sooners wrapped out three consecutive hits to take a 2-0 lead before the Sun Devils would even step to the plate. After a leadoff walk to center fielder Matt Arkison, second baseman Eddie Cornejo doubled down the right field line to put

With the Sooners up 3-1, the Devils tried to pull to within one run when freshman Jeff Larish drove a ball that skipped past center fielder Matt Arkinson. Larish recorded a triple, but was gunned down at home plate on a perfectly-executed relay throw while going for the inside-the-park home run.

After gunning down two runners in scoring position in the top of the sixth, ASU inched closer to pulling even with a single tally in the bottom of the sixth. Rod Allen doubled down the left field line with two outs to score Andre Ethier.

Oklahoma added to its lead with four runs in the top of the eighth that proved to be just enough padding to secure the win. Arkison lined a double down the left field line to plate shortstop Denver Kitch with the Sooners' fourth run of the game and Cornejo followed with another double that pained the left field line to increase OU's lead to 5-2. A two-run home run from left fielder Jason Fransz off ASU reliever Mark Sopko proved to be the game-winner.

The Devils tried to make a game out of it with three runs in the eighth, but fell just short. Jeremy West plated two runs with a triple to right field and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Allen.

Arizona State opens Pac-10 play next weekend with a three-game series at rival Arizona.

Game Notes: In the third of three Chicago Cubs/Sun Devil doubleheaders, the Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 12,632 at Hohokam Stadium... the outfield assist by Rod Allen in the top of the sixth inning was the second of the year for the Devils (Ethier being the other).

Oklahoma 7, Arizona State 5 (Mar 17, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Oklahoma............ 200 100 040  -  7 13  0      (15-5)Arizona State....... 001 001 030  -  5  7  1      (16-8)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Oklahoma - Mix, A., McAuliff, J.(7), Purcey, D.(9).Arizona State - Kartler, Sopko(6), Schroyer(8).Win-Mix, A.(4-1)  Save-Purcey, D.(4)  Loss-Kartler(2-1)  T-2:58  A-2086HR OU - Fransz, J. (6).

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