NORMAN — Oklahoma first baseman Matt Oberste just wanted an opposite-field base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, when he stepped to the plate with runners on first and second base.
The right-handed junior succeeded — and then some; Oberste's three-run, walk-off home run sailed over the right-field fence, gave the Sooners a 7-4 win and secured a season opening, four-game sweep of Hofstra at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
“I was just looking for a pitch in the zone,” Oberste said. “He gave me a good pitch right down the middle. I tried to hit the other way, but I didn't expect it to lift.”
Oklahoma returns to action Tuesday at 3 p.m., when it hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the first of a two-game home series.
The Sooners (4-0) took a 2-0 lead after the first inning, and led 4-1 when freshman pitcher Corey Copping's college debut ended after seven innings, 92 pitches and only two hits allowed.
“I was really proud ... I thought we manufactured runs better today,” said OU coach Sunny Golloway. “We're gonna have to do that to win in the Big 12.
“The one thing you don't sit around and wait on is a three-run homer, but doggone if that doesn't win today. We'll take it.”
In the top of the eighth — with senior Jake Fisher pitching in relief of Copping — Hofstra's Austin Nyman connected for a two-out, two-run double to bring the Pride within one run.
Nyman stole third base, and designated hitter Bryan Verbitsky's infield single drove him home to tie the game.
OU sophomore Robert Tasin earned the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning to set up Oberste's heroics.
Hofstra (0-4) pushed Oklahoma in the series' final three games. The Sooners won Friday's opener handily, but sneaked by Hofstra 3-2 and 11-10 in a doubleheader Saturday, needing a huge rally and extra innings in the second game.
“We won every game in every way possible,” said senior catcher Max White, who was 3 for 4 with two RBIs Sunday. “We beat them pretty good, then we had a close game, had to close it off. Then we came back, then we just won it like that.
“That's all the ways in baseball you can win.”