Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

April 28, 2013

Gray wins pitching duel, leads OU to victory

There was a little more adrenaline pumping through L. Dale Mitchell Park Saturday afternoon. Maybe it was the season-high crowd of 2,668. Perhaps the pitching match up between Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray and Texas Tech’s Trey Masek — and the scouts who flocked to see it — elevated the atmosphere.

The ambiance took a back seat to the outcome. The Sooners rolled to a 6-2 victory and secured the series against the Red Raiders.

“We were excited,” OU first baseman Matt Oberste said after going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. “Both those guys are really good pitchers and we knew it would be a good matchup today.”

Gray (8-1) won the battle, holding the Red Raiders (19-24, 5-12 Big 12) to one run on two hits over 7 1-3 innings. Gray also had seven strikeouts.

Masek (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits over six frames.

The difference came down to OU’s ability to put good swings on the ball. Four of the eight hits the Sooners (33-10, 10-4) collected came in the first inning. The big blow was Colt Bickerstaff’s two-run double that broke the game open.

“That was big. We knew Masek was one of the premier guys in the Big 12,” Bickerstaff said. “Getting on him early is something that usually doesn’t happen. We were fortunate to get a lot of fastballs. Things went our way early and we scored a lot of runs.”

OU coach Sunny Golloway moved Gray’s spot in the rotation so he could matchup with Masek. It was a clear case of both teams best pitchers facing off. Gray’s pitched in many of those games this season and won the overwhelming majority of them.

Most of the time those wins have been in tight, low-scoring games. Having a three-run lead when he walked to the mound in the second inning was an odd feeling.

“I felt very comfortable,” Gray said. “It’s always good when you can get a three-, four-, five-run lead. It helps out a lot.”

The Sooners’ lead went to five runs on Oberste’s two-run double in the sixth inning. By then, OU had the game and the series within hand.

Texas Tech picked up its only runs of the series thus far on RBI singles in the eighth inning by Bryant Burleson and Jake Barrios.

They began with OU getting the final three outs of the suspended game from Friday night. OU picked up an 8-0 victory in that one.

The Sooners will go for the sweep when the teams met in the series finale at 1 p.m. today. They hold a one-game lead over Kansas State in the Big 12 standings. In order to extend that lead, they have to capitalize on sweep opportunities.

“Once you get the first two, you  can start thinking about a sweep,” Golloway said. “What tomorrow becomes about is the standings … For where we sit right now, this game is huge.”

It is because OU took care of business Saturday.

1
Text Only
Sports
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks