By Sam Neumann
Going into Saturday’s game, neither Oklahoma nor Kansas State had a shot to play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Game. Based on the way the Sooners played, they didn’t seem to care.
Oklahoma likely solidified its chance to host an NCAA regional with a 13-2 run-rule beatdown of the Wildcats Saturday. Garrett Buechele went 3-for-3 with two homers, Danny Black had four RBI, and the power-hitting Sooners rode a monster six-run fourth inning to an easy victory.
“That was the one thing we couldn’t do against Oklahoma, was give up the big inning,” Kansas State coach Brad Hill said. “They create a lot of things. They have speed and they have power. They can put you into a little bit of a panic, and they did.”
With Baylor and Texas A&M already locked in to the championship game Sunday, this game was meaningless to the outcome of the Big 12 Championship. But after an 8-3 loss to Baylor Friday night, OU coach Sunny Golloway stressed the importance of finishing strong in order to insure the best possible seeding in the NCAA tournament.
His team got the message. The Sooners amassed 15 hits and had four players with at least two RBI, while doing everything they could to improve their national seed.
“I thought we played well today,” Golloway said. “One of the things we talked about before for we started is that one team we know is playing well is A&M. Their RPI is 22, ours is 18 and they had already won today against Texas.”
Kansas State took an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a Daniel Dellasega run-scoring single and a sac fly from Mike Kindel. But that was the extent of the scoring for the Wildcats, as their bats fell silent for the rest of the night.
Buechele tied it at two with his first homer in the top of the third. The floodgates opened the following inning, which saw designated hitter Chris Ellison double to drive in two runs, then steal third and score on a throwing error. Oklahoma had six hits in the fourth.
In the top of the eigth with the score 10-2, Danny Black ripped a three-run shot over the right-centerfield fence, pushing the lead to 11. In the bottom half of the frame with runners on second and third, Sooners pitcher Jack Mayfield got Mike Kindel to ground out and end the game in eight innings.
By Sam Neumann