April 18, 2006
NORMAN, Okla. -- The 13th-ranked Oklahoma baseball team took advantage of a pair of Rice fielding errors on the way to a big five-run fifth inning, the deciding frame in what turned into a 15-3 win over the top-ranked Owls before a season-high capacity crowd of 2,657 at L. Dale Mitchell Park Tuesday evening in Norman, Okla. The loss snapped Rice's win streak at 14 games.
Both starting pitchers were in a groove early. Oklahoma opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning with a run on a walk and pair of hits. The Owls came right back with a run in the top of the fifth. Designated hitter Aaron Luna singled to right and he moved to second when right fielder Bobby Bramhall was hit by a pitch. Catcher Danny Lehmann punched a base hit through the right side to tie the game, 1-1.
The Sooners broke the tie wide open with five runs in the fifth, four of which were unearned after two Rice miscues. Oklahoma designated hitter Joe Dunigan led off with solo home run make the score 2-1. The Owls then dropped a fly ball in the outfield and threw an infield ground ball away which scored a run and sent the batter to third. Second baseman Russell Raley delivered an RBI single and Scott Rooker was hit by a pitch to put two men on base. A sacrifice bunt moved the men into scoring position and a single and sacrifice fly scored two more to give OU a 6-1 advantage.
Rice got one run back in the sixth when Josh Rodriguez drew a one-out walk and scored on a double by Brian Friday. The two-bagger was Friday's sixth in the last three games.
In the bottom of the sixth Dunigan duplicated his leadoff home run feat from the inning before. He hit his second homer of the game to right-center to make the score 7-2. In the top of the seventh Travis Reagan and Greg Buchanan drew walks and an RBI single by Joe Savery cut the lead to four, 7-3.
Oklahoma added five more runs in its half of the seventh on just three hits. Four walks issued by Rice pitchers helped the Sooners take a 12-3 lead. OU put three more on the board in the eighth for a 15-3 final.
Rice saw its win streak snapped at 14. The Owls fell to 32-9 on the year. Oklahoma improved to 29-10 with its seventh-straight win.
With the end of the five-consecutive games on the road, Rice next returns home to Reckling Park for a three-game Conference USA weekend series Apr. 21-23. The Owls host league power Southern Miss. Game times with the Golden Eagles are 7 pm Friday, 2 pm Saturday and 1 pm in the Sunday finale.