And for the second time this year, it came behind a complete game from lefty hurler Jordan John, who reeled off a career-high 12 strikeouts in the victory.
“He was terrific,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “I don’t think our guys were really concerned even when it was just 3-0.”
The Sooners pushed it out to a 3-0 deficit as center fielder Max White doubled home second baseman Jack Mayfield in the first, right fielder Cody Reine plated White on an RBI single in the third and designated hitter Evan Mistich singled in Reine a batter later.
That was all John needed and then some.
John, who has lasted at least seven innings in all five of his 2012 starts, faced the minimum in six of his nine innings and threw 10 or fewer pitches in five frames.
He allowed just four hits the entire way, while walking just one.
“As the innings went on, I got more comfortable with my mechanics and where I was putting my pitches,” John said. “It also gets easier when everyone in the field is making plays behind me. It allowed me to throw pretty well today.”
Third baseman Garrett Carey gave OU more of a cushion when he safety squeezed Reine home in the seventh.
Moments later, left fielder Erik Ross recorded an RBI single to boost the advantage to its final margin.
What might have been overshadowed about OU’s performance by John’s individual outing in this one is its ability to manufacture runs.
With the wind blowing in from the left field foul pole, the Sooners banged out nine hits and pushed runners across by moving them over efficiently.
As part of that, they stole four bases, the most since swiping equally as many against West Virginia back on March 10.
“If you get sent on the road to a ballpark that doesn’t favor the longball, you have to be able to play small ball and win,” Golloway said. “We were able to do that tonight. We stole some bases, had a delayed steal, a squeeze bunt and a double steal. We did some things pretty well on the base paths tonight.”
White led the club, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
The two will get back at it in game two at 2 p.m. CT Saturday.
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