The Illinois State baseball team (2-5) finished its four-game weekend series with a 7-5 victory against No. 23 Oklahoma (7-2) in game two of the doubleheader action.
OU 3, ISU 2
Redshirt freshman Sean Sinisko took the mound for the Redbirds in game one, pitching 6.1 innings giving up two runs on six hits and one walk with nine strike outs.
Illinois State’s offense lived off redshirt junior Aidan Huggins who went 3-for-4 while driving in both runs for the Redbirds.
The game was tied at two heading into the eight, Oklahoma regained control of the ball on a Peyton Graham sacrifice fly that would seal the win.
ISU 7, OU 5
The Redbirds were off to a hot start in the third inning as senior Joe Butler hit a grand slam to open the scoring giving the ’Birds a 4-0 lead. Butler would go on to finish the day 2-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
In the next at-bat, Braedon Blackford would follow Butler’s lead adding a solo shot to the home run party. Blackford went 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.
The Sooners would not go down without a fight as they climbed their way back into the game after Brad Lindsly hit a three-run bomb off of starter junior Jack Anderson. Oklahoma would add another run in the fifth off of a wild pitch from senior Micheal Sebby.
Illinois State did all they could to prevent further scoring from Oklahoma using a total of six pitchers in game two. Sebby, who entered the game in the fifth went on to earn the win pitching two innings allowing an unearned run on no hits.
An RBI double by Connor McKenna brought the Sooners within two at 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth, but Redbird senior Jackson Bronke came in and sealed the deal, getting a huge out to uplift the Redbirds to their first victory of the weekend.
OU 2, ISU 1
Senior Colton Johnson took the hill to start the day for the Redbirds. Johnson started the game strong pitching a scoreless first five innings for the Redbirds but ultimately hitting trouble in the sixth. Johnson would pitch 7.0 innings, giving up four hits, two runs with 10 strikeouts.
Redshirt sophomore Jake McCaw knocked in Joe Butler for the one run of the game in the seventh inning to cut the game to the one-run deficit.
Freshman Erick Kubiatowicz eventually came in to relieve Johnson, who did his job of pitching a scoreless frame throwing 1.0 innings, one hit, zero runs, zero earned runs, zero BB, zero K’s setting up a chance for a Redbirds come back.
The Sooners tough pitching was too much for the Redbirds to overcome as they fell short of their comeback heroics as closer Jason Ruffcorn sealed the deal giving starting pitcher Cade Cavallie his first win of the season.
OU 4, ISU 1
Junior Brett Wicklund started for Illinois State in game two of Friday’s doubleheader action in Oklahoma. Wicklund pitched 5.0 innings, giving up four runs on sic hits with two strike outs in a rough evening outing.
The Sooners opened the scoring in the second with Brady Harlan singling to the shortstop, a throwing error caused Harlan to advance to second and allowing Tanner Treadaway to score giving the Sooners the 1-0 advantage early.
An infield single by Braedon Blackford (junior) in the third scored Kyle Soberano (junior) to tie the game 1-1 that would be all the Redbirds could push around.
Oklahoma quickly turned the bottom of the third upside down on the Redbirds as they scoredthree runs, including a two-run home run by Tredaway to put the Sooners back on top for the 4-1 win.