By JOHN SHINN
AUSTIN, Texas — Through two games with Texas, its come down to two hits. The Sooners got it in Friday’s series opener. Saturday, the hit belonged to Texas.
Ben Johnson slapped an RBI single to score Matt Gottsacker in the bottom of the fifth inning. That was it in terms of offense Saturday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field as Texas held on for the 1-0 win.
“It was a great game to watch. We just didn’t get that run across,” OU second baseman Jack Mayfield said.
It was a classic pitchers’ duel once again. Dillon Overton held the Longhorns to one run on five hits with six strikeouts. The performance lowered his ERA from 2.68 to 2.35, but his record sank to 6-2.
The left-hander battled a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand in his previous three starts. The wound was finally healed for Saturday’s game.
“Yeah, to me that was one of the best outings I’ve had all season. The blister is finally gone of my finger and it was warm weather; I felt good,” Overton said. “Baseball is a tough sport and sometimes that happens.”
But he was outdueled by Texas’ Dillon Peters (2-2). The Longhorns’ left-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and held the Sooners to two hits over 7 2-3 innings.
Peters struck out five and didn’t issue a walk. The only batter to reach in the first seven innings was Craig Aikin, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth inning.
OU only put three runners in scoring position all day. The last two came in the eighth inning.
The Sooners finally made an adjustment to Peters heading into the inning. He’d been living on the outside corner throughout the game. Starting with Kolbey Carpeter’s leadoff at-bat, OU started crowding the plate.
Carpenter laced the first pitch off the wall in left field. He didn’t advance any further. Hector Lorenzana grounded back to the Peters and the Longhorns erased Carpenter in a rundown. Hunter Haley tried to move Lorenzana into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but he popped out to Peters.
Garrett Carey finally got him to scoring position with a two-out single, Texas turned to closer Corey Knebel, who struck out Anthony Hermelyn, who delivered in the game-winning RBI in the series opener to end the threat.
“After the double, we elected to hit behind the runner and we almost executed it. The pitcher snagged and we got caught in the rundown and that hurt us. We had to get to second on the rundown,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “If we do, we score on the flare or if we get the bunt down with Haley, we score on the flare, so there were two things that hurt us.”
Knebel sat the Sooners down in order in the ninth to get his seventh save.
The teams return to Disch-Falk Field at 2 p.m. today for the series finale. The Sooners need a victory to get their first series victory against the Longhorns since 1998. Texas needs the win claim its 15th straight series against OU.
OU had the pitching and defense it needed to lock it up Saturday. It just made the adjustment against Peters too late.
“We found it late on that guy. Tip my cap to him because he threw a heckuva game. So did we, but we should have made the adjustment earlier,” rightfielder Max White said.