Center fielder Max White, as he’s done so much recently, led the way in that contest, continuing his tear that sees him fourth in the Big 12 batting average race.
White racked up a career-high five RBIs in leading the squad to an 8-2 victory and has gone .533 in his last 30 at bats (16 hits) with 13 RBI, eight of those with two outs.
“That’s baseball,” White said. “The ball gets big every now and then and, right now, I am seeing it well. It’s good to see the guys get going. I am just trying to stay consistent and set the tone.”
He certainly did so Saturday night, igniting a five-run ninth inning.
White laced a two-run single to center before right fielder Cody Reine extended the lead to 6-1 with his RBI triple.
After it was all said and done, the Sooners added two more runs to lead 8-1 into the final half inning following first baseman Hunter Lockwood and designated hitter Evan Mistich’s RBI hits.
And although KU added one in the ninth, it wasn’t nearly enough, thanks to a big bomb from White.
With OU trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth, White stepped to the plate and smashed a three-run homer to put OU on top.
KU never really recovered.
“Our team continues to feed off Max White,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “He hits the three-run bomb with two outs, opposite field, and is doing a great job hitting. Clearly, he is our offensive player of the game again.”
The Jayhawks scored their only other run off Sooner starter Jonathan Gray, an unearned run, when they took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of third baseman Jordan Dreiling.
But Gray lasted 6 1/3 innings, dealing six K’s to just four hits but four walks in the victory.
“I thought the way Jon Gray turned around and pitched, after he didn’t have his stuff early, was great,” Golloway said. “He was walking guys and we talked to him in the dugout after three innings and he really came back and focused. He was better his last three than his first three.”
The Sooners (28-16, 9-8 Big 12) are over .500 in conference play for the first time all year and have the Bedlam Series ahead of them next weekend.
“I like the way we are coming together,” Golloway said. “We have to continue to press forward, keep moving and not look back. It really doesn’t matter what the rest of the Big 12 does right now. We are just fighting to get every win we came before the Big 12 Tournament and that is what we will focus on tomorrow.”
Prior to that, they get back on the field for a 5 p.m. Monday contest at L. Dale Mitchell Park before heading to TCU Tuesday.
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