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Sooners Clinch Bedlam Series – University of Oklahoma

NORMAN Jason Ruffcorn struck out 10 batters in 6.2 innings and Brett Squires hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning when Oklahoma clinched the Bedlam Big 12 baseball series with a 5-3 win over No. 18 Oklahoma State on Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Ruffcorn (4-1) entered the game with one out in the top of the third inning in relief from starter Jake Bennett and went the rest of the way, putting an exclamation on his outing by striking out to the side. in the ninth inning. His 10 strikeouts and 6.2 innings were career highs. OU took a 4-3 lead in Squires' second home run of the series and fifth of the season in the seventh inning.

The Sooners (22-19, 6-8 Big 12) took a lead 2-0 in the second inning, but they were scoreless until Squires exploded in the seventh. Brandon Zaragoza and Conor McKenna hit back-to-back doubles in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-3. The Cowboys (24-14-1, 7-10 Big 12) scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. OSU reliever Kale Davis (0-2) took the loss.

"Bennett was really good starting the game, and then we got on with the matchups. I thought the matchups were better for Ruffcorn. "Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. "We've been trying to push him into that role and try to extend it a little bit. We took the lead early, separated some balls from strikes and got some big hits. Squires hit the big home run, and it was really good for him at the time because he had had some tough at-bats early. He got a good pitch to get it out, and then Ruffcorn finished it. I think the defense was really outstanding today. "

Oklahoma had four hits and two walks to take a lead of 2-0 in the second inning. Peyton Graham caught a bases-loaded walk and Jimmy Crooks hit an RBI single to right field for two runs.

Ruffcorn retired his first two hitters with flies to end the third inning, but a Christian Encarnacion-Strand sacrifice fly cut OU's lead to 2-1. OSU starter Justin Campbell hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to tie the game and Max Hewitt homered in the fifth to give the Cowboys a 3-2 lead.

Graham started the seventh with a single down the middle, and Squires hit his two-out homer to give the home team a 4-3 lead. In the eighth inning, Zaragoza doubled to left field and scored on McKenna's two-out double to left field, providing a two-run lead.

The Sooners scored their last three runs Saturday with two. outs after producing 14 runs with two outs in Friday's opening 16-2 series win.

Oklahoma secured the Bedlam conference series for the first time since 2016 and won the opening two games in a conference against OSU for the first time since 2009. The Sooners haven't swept the Cowboys in a conference series since 2000.

Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 4 pm at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

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