Sooners remain perfect in pool play

OU pitcher Dillon Overton

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooners are a victory away from reaching the Big 12 Championship for the second consecutive season after topping Texas Tech 8-0 in Friday morning pool play at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

It's their second consecutive shutout to begin the conference tournament.

And their third straight victory for the first time since sweeping New Orleans back on April 19-21.

Designated hitter Colt Bickerstaff gave OU all the offense it needed with an RBI single up the middle in the fourth.

"The runs were precious to us early, you know, the one," said head coach Sunny Golloway."

But the Sooners would get plenty of insurance in the final two frames.

First, second baseman Hector Lorenzana poked an RBI single into right, then catcher Anthony Hermelyn recorded a sacrifice fly to put OU up 3-0 through eight.

They more than doubled it in the ninth with a five-spot featuring center fielder Max White's run-scoring single, then first baseman Matt Oberste's two-run single to left and pinch hitter Kolbey Carpenter's two run single into the gap in right.

"Finally the dam broke open and we were able to really put it together," Golloway said. "And I think that really helps us because we didn't have to go to our closer, Jacob Evans."

As for their starter, Dillon Overton, though he lost his command some before exiting after the fifth, he managed a scoreless five innings while striking out five en route to picking up the victory.

"It's good, but a little bit tired," Overton said about his arm afterward. "That's expected when you haven't thrown a lot that last three weeks. It bounces back really quickly, and I will be ready to go next week."

Relievers Ralph Garza, Jr. and Kindle Ladd combined for four scoreless innings of relief with just a single hit surrendered.

Texas Tech's Dominic Moreno, while he threw seven innings and allowed just two earned runs, was tagged with the loss.

The Sooners now look for a Saturday victory over Kansas State to clinch a berth in the Big 12 Title game.

"The thing about pool play is the game that's getting ready to be played right now [between K-State and Baylor] really doesn't matter," Golloway said. "Kansas State can throw off. All they've gotta do is win tomorrow because if they're 2-1 and we happen to drop that game, we're 2-1. They would advance. If there was a three-way tie, they would advance being the higher seed. They've earned that right winning our league, so we understand that."

A perfect 3-0 pool play record, however, would leave no doubt, so that's the goal.

"Tomorrow's game is extremely important for us," said Lorenzana, who finished 2-for-5 with his RBI and run scored. "We have got to beat those guys if we want to get a ring. That's our goal. We came in here trying to win a championship, and winning tomorrow is going to give us a good opportunity to do that."

They'll get their chance to do so when first pitch gets under way at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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