The University of Oklahoma baseball team suffered its first series-opening loss in Big 12 play with a 2-1 walk-off defeat to Baylor Friday night at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas.
After OU (27-7, 7-3 Big 12) scored its first run and tied the game in the ninth inning, Baylor (18-16, 6-3) third baseman Cal Towey responded with a lead-off homer to right to win it for the Bears. It was just the second walk-off loss for the Sooners this year, who have seven walk-off victories.
In multi-game series, Oklahoma had won all nine of its series-openers to start the season before Friday night's contest. Both OU and Baylor have not lost a Big 12 Conference series this season.
OU's ninth-inning rally begin when Hunter Haley led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on Jack Mayfield's sacrifice bunt. Haley scored when Craig Aikin sent a grounder through the right side that glanced off the outstretched glove of the Baylor first baseman. Max White followed with a single, but an Oberste groundout and a Carpenter strikeout ended the inning before the go-ahead run could score.
Junior right-hander Jonathan Gray pitched eight innings, allowed just one run and on four hits. The lone Baylor run came in the first inning, when he allowed three Baylor runners to reach base on two hits. After he allowed a single in the second, Gray settled down and retired 16-straight batters before a one-out walk in the seventh.
Friday's performance was the fourth time this season that Gray had pitched at least eight innings.
Baylor's Dillon Newman matched Gray's performance with a stellar outing of his own. The righty and allowed just one run on six hits and struck out five in 8.1 innings of work. It was the first time he had pitched into the ninth inning this season.
The Sooners' best scoring chance before the ninth inning came in the top of the sixth when Hunter Haley led off the inning with a single to right, but he was picked off first base with one out to end any scoring opportunity. Before the ninth, an OU base runner reached base just four times, but at no point did they advance past first base, and more than one runner didn't reach in the same inning until the rally in the ninth.
Despite the loss, Oklahoma holds a half-game lead in the Big 12 over Baylor and Kansas State.
The Sooners and Bears return to the field Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT for the middle game of the series. The contest will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports Atlantic.
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