“I tell you what, Hartford’s got a good club,” said head coach Sunny Golloway. “You know, they’re just coming from the North where they haven’t been outside as much, but I still think that we’ve executed well. I think we’ve played well, and I think we showed a lot of character being down four to nothing early in the ball game at home.”
Indeed, for the second time in their first three wins, they did it by coming from behind.
The Sooners dropped behind 4-0 after Hartford scored one in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly and added three more on third baseman Simon Kudernatsch’s three-RBI triple in the second.
OU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third when third baseman Garrett Carey plated shortstop Caleb Bushyhead on an RBI double and second baseman Jack Mayfield brought him in moments later with a single to left.
Catcher Hunter Lockwood’s inside-the-park homer, his third round tripper in two days, trimmed the deficit to 4-3.
Two innings later, the Sooners finally climbed the ladder when Bushyhead hit home a pair of base runners on a triple to center.
“Our guys stayed after it and felt like it was just going to be a matter of time and sure enough we were able to scratch some runs across,” Golloway said. “I thought we showed some character coming from behind today.”
Carey knocked Bushyhead home to make it 6-4.
OU added one more in the sixth and three in the seventh to extend its lead, while allowing just one run in the final seven innings.
Yet again, long reliever Jordan John was superb in six innings of work, giving up only an unearned run and striking out four batters to one walk.
“You can’t say enough about Jordan,” Golloway said. “I hope he keeps it going and I think he will because he works hard. We didn’t let him finish the game today because we wanted to have him available on Tuesday.”
He surrendered a measly four hits en route to getting the win and moving to 2-1 on the young season.
“I was able to give the innings we needed for the win,” John said. “The defense did a great job behind me, rolling a couple of double plays, and I was locating my pitches.”
Pitcher Chris Burgess tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory.
Bushyhead, who recorded just one hit in his first 12 at bats and was benched before Friday’s home opener, exploded for three hits in four plate appearances, driving home three and scoring three runs.
Carey, Lockwood and designated hitter Matt Oberste each also recorded two hits.
The Sooners now move to 3-2 and play host to the Hawks again in game three at 1 p.m. Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
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