NORMAN, Okla. – No. 8 Texas A&M could not overcome three unearned runs which resulted from three fifth inning errors Saturday afternoon as No. 20 Oklahoma defeated the Aggies, 9-3, at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
After back-to-back doubles by Parker Dalton and Brandon Hicks tied the game at one in the top of the fifth, the Sooners took the lead for good courtesy of the A&M mishaps. Two of the three errors were ground balls that should have been double plays to end the inning.
“We came unraveled defensively,” A&M head coach Rob Childress. “We have made mistakes this year, but have been able to overcome them. We had chances early to get a few more runs on the board, but give Oklahoma credit for not letting us back in the game. We have to play with a chip on our shoulder and with great attitude. I did not see that today.”
With the loss, the Aggies dropped to 22-4 overall and to 3-2 in Big 12 play. The Sooners improved to 19-7 and 1-1. The rubber match of the series will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Joe Dunigan sharply singled to left to score Mike Gosse, who singled to lead off the inning, to earn the Sooners a 1-0 lead in the third.
The Sooners added two runs in the sixth to increase their lead to 6-1 and chase A&M starter Kyle Thebeau. A pair of singles by Gosse and Aljay Davis brought A&M reliever Michael Heard to the mound. Dunigan came through again with a two-RBI single to right.
An RBI single by Bryant Hernandez and a two-RBI double by Davis in the bottom of the seventh made the score 9-2 and put the game out of reach.
Kyle Colligan hit his second home run in as many days in the top of the eighth. It was the third of the year for Colligan, who also extended his current hitting streak to eight games.
Ben Feltner went hitless, snapping his 21-game hitting streak.
Thebeau (2-1) allowed six runs – three earned – in nine hits. He struck out three and walked two in six-plus innings on the mound.
Sooners’ starter Heath Taylor (5-0) lasted six-plus innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked four.
A&M – 000 010 110 – 3 8 3
OKLA – 001 032 30x – 9 14 1
A&M: Thebeau, Heard (6), Minks (7), Starling (7) and C. Stinson; OKLA: Taylor, Conaway (7), Richards (8) and Williams.
E – A&M: Hicks (7), Dalton 2 (5); OKLA: Williams (1)
2B – A&M: Hicks (12), Stouffer (10), Dalton (3); OKLA: Davis (7), Reza (4), Baker (8), Williams (7)
HR – A&M: Colligan (3)
Win – Taylor (5-0) Loss – Thebeau (2-1) Save – none
T – 3:01
A – 942