Sooners Smash Jayhawks, Seize Game One 12-1

OU first baseman Cameron Seitzer

NORMAN, Okla. – If the other team is going to give you runs, then you should probably take them before they stop being so generous later in the series.

That's what seemed to be the attitude in the No. 10 Sooners' 12-1 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday night.

The Jayhawks (22-25, 9-13 Big 12) committed four errors and allowed six unearned runs in the loss and practically handed OU (33-13, 11-9 Big 12) the game after jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first.

Three of those errors occurred in the second and third innings, which was the same point that the Sooners took control of the game.

After Michael Rocha got out of a one out, bases-loaded jam in the second, which was his turning point on the mound, OU tied the game in the second on a fielding error and took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-out throwing error by the third baseman.

Then junior first baseman Cameron Seitzer opened the floodgates.

He launched a three-run homer over the left field wall to give the Sooners a 5-1 lead.

And Seitzer knew something good was going to happen the moment he stepped into the batter's box.

"G was looking at me in the dugout and he told me, ‘Let's go,'" said Seitzer. "Every time he does that something good happens. So I saw him do that, I felt good at the dish, I got a slider away and I hit it over there."

Seitzer went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and was a triple short of the cycle, which he admits he was trying to get during his final at-bat in the eighth.

All five of the Sooners' runs in the second and third innings were unearned, which is a welcome thing for head coach Sunny Golloway, whose team has lost multiple games and series because of giving away runs.

"Some things went right for us," he said. "We've had a season of almost. Almost winning this series against A&M, almost winning the series against OSU, almost winning the series against Texas, and – you know what – it's behind us. We can't do anything about it."

The Sooners scored one in the fourth and three in the fifth to pile up a 9-1 lead to officially put the game out of reach.

Two of those runs in the fifth scored on a triple by senior left fielder Casey Johnson, who collected two triples in three at-bats.

Junior right fielder Cody Reine, who has not been in the starting lineup for a while because of his lack of production, capped off the night with a solo homer to lead off the eighth. The homer was his third of the year.

The victory shouldn't just be attributed to the fact that the offense exploded for 11 hits.

Rocha gave up six hits and shut out the Jayhawks in six of his seven innings. He struck out six en route to his ninth victory of the year.

The Sooners have not had a double-digit victory since beating Kansas State 14-3 on April 9 in Manhattan, a span that covered 14 games, so it felt good to be able to knock around another team for a change, Golloway admitted.

Winning the first game against Kansas is only the first step in making a run toward a regional host, although OU will need a lot of help to be able to do that.

"We've given ourselves a very small margin of error," said Golloway. "We're going to be big boys and accept that. If we want to host, do we have to go undefeated? I would hope not, but we've got to take care of business. What exactly that means, we'll see."

The Sooners will go for the series victory at 2 p.m. Saturday in Norman.

Junior pitcher Burch Smith is scheduled to start. He is 7-3 and has a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts.

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