Big 12 Baseball Tournament: Sooners pull out victory over Texas Tech

Craig Aikin got goosebumps, Pete Hughes breathed a sigh of relief and Oklahoma celebrated an improbable season-extending 9-8 win over Texas Tech in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
by Ryan Aber Published: May 22, 2014
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photo - OU's Craig Aiken is able to escape that of Texas Tech catcher Tyler Floyd to score the winning run for the Sooners in the ninth inning. Aiken scored on a hit by teammate Sheldon Neuse. OU trailed most of the game but were able to score runs late in the game to defeat Texas Tech, 9-8, in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon, May 22, 2014.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
OU's Craig Aiken is able to escape that of Texas Tech catcher Tyler Floyd to score the winning run for the Sooners in the ninth inning. Aiken scored on a hit by teammate Sheldon Neuse. OU trailed most of the game but were able to score runs late in the game to defeat Texas Tech, 9-8, in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon, May 22, 2014. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

And that tone was set by Sooners starter Jacob Evans, who fought through five innings to give OU a chance to work its way back.

The offense didn’t start to come to life until the eighth, with the Sooners trailing 8-3.

Kolbey Carpenter got OU going with a leadoff home run and then things started rolling from there.

OU added two more in the eighth and then scored three in the ninth with the help of a pair of hit batters to come out with the win.

“The only thing running through my head was drive something deep in the outfield to tie this thing up right here,” Neuse said. “I got a breaking ball up and away, and I just went with it.”

The eighth-seeded Sooners must now win four more games in a row to win the tournament for the second consecutive season and advance to next week’s NCAA Regionals.

“We know we belong here,” Aikin said. “We might be the low seed, but we played the eighth seed (Kansas, actually the six seed last year) in the championship game. We know all it takes is a lot of hard work and character. If you want to win it, you’ll find a way into the championship game and you’ll pull it out.

“We have a lot of heart on this team and a lot of resiliency. We’re gonna keep fighting.”


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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