Arkansas Tops No. 24 Oklahoma 9-6; Fox Hits Ei
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – The Arkansas Razorbacks scored nine unanswered runs to rally from a six-run deficit to defeat the 24th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Tuesday night in front of more than 2,000 fans at Baum Stadium.
The win was the 10th for the Razorbacks in their last 13 games and was the third straight win over a ranked opponent.
Arkansas improved to 18-11 overall, while Oklahoma dropped to 19-13.
True freshman Clint Brannon pitched three innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts to earn his first career victory. Brannon (1-0) was the third Arkansas relief pitcher of the night. Scott Roehl threw three perfect innings to record his second save of the year.
Evan Greusel dropped to 3-2 after allowing two runs, both unearned, on two hits with five strikeouts in two innings of relief work. Greusel came in for starter Austin Mix who surrendered five runs, all earned, on six hits while striking out four.
Oklahoma jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Eddie Cornejo reached when Cliff Crouse dropped a fly ball in centerfield, then stole second base. After Luke Alexander walked, Jason Fransz doubled down the third base line to score both runners.
Spencer Wyman increased the Sooner lead to 3-0 when he took Razorback starter Jonathan Richmond’s first pitch of the second inning over the right field fence for his third home run of the year.
The Sooners added three more runs in the third inning. Chris Jakubauskas doubled home Alexander for a 4-0 lead. Arkansas then put in relief pitcher Josh Merryman for Richmond. Wyman picked up the final two runs with a single to left-center that plated Fransz and Jakubauskas for a 6-0 advantage.
That would be all the runs the Sooners would score as Arkansas relief pitching held Oklahoma to just one hit and only two base runners after the third inning.
Arkansas got on the board in bottom of the third inning when Kirk McConnell doubled home Scott Bridges, who was hit by a pitch, to cut the deficit to 6-1. Cliff Crouse then doubled to left to score McConnell and make it a 6-2 game.
Ryan Fox brought the Razorbacks within two at 6-4 with a two-run home run to right in the bottom of the sixth inning that also plated Andrew Wishy (double). The home run was the eighth of the year for Fox and his third in the last four games. Nick Pitts was then hit by a pitch.
Oklahoma brought in relief pitcher Evan Greusel to face Jeff Fletcher. Fletcher greeted the new hurler with a double to right-center that scored Pitts. Cody Clark put down a sacrifice bunt, but Greusel threw the ball into the dirt past first base which allowed Fletcher to score and Clark to advance to second. With two out, Clark went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield single deep in the hole at third by Brady Toops to give the Razorbacks a 7-6 lead.
Arkansas added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when Patrick Woodruff hit a grounder to short that was thrown away allowing Clark (fielder’s choice) and Scott Hode (single) to score to give the Hogs a 9-6 lead.
Roehl finished the Sooners off in the ninth, retiring the side in order to seal the victory.
The Razorbacks will now travel to Starkville for a weekend series against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Game one is slated for a 6:30 p.m. CT start Friday.
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