NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma plated seven runs in the first inning, and that itself was too much for winless Arkansas-Pine Bluff to overcome.
The Sooners lined 20 hits Tuesday on their way to a 16-6 victory to start a two-game series. The two teams are scheduled to meet again today at 3 p.m.
Three Sooners — Hunter Haley, Niko Buentello and Anthony Hermelyn — each had three hits. Two of Haley’s hits were home runs, including a two-run shot in the bottom of the first that got the ball rolling for the Big 12 perennial powers.
Oklahoma (3-1) had already built a 4-0 lead off six hits before Humberto Zavala was chased with one out in the inning.
UAPB (0-5) finally scored in the third inning when Kirby Campbell hit a two-out single to left to drive in Jerimiah Figueroa, but Oklahoma added four runs in the bottom half of the frame for an 11-1 lead.
The Golden Lions whittled the margin down to 11-6 with five runs in the fourth. Figueroa started the rally with a two-run single, and leadoff man Rashawn Tillman tripled to right center to score two more runs before coming home on a wild pitch.
But that was all they could muster. Haley’s three-run shot highlighted a five-run half of the inning for the Sooners.
Figueroa went 3 for 3 and Campbell 2 for 2. Didier Landry went the longest among five UAPB pitchers, allowing one hit in the fifth through seventh innings.
Skyler Henson allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings, and Jaron Gold gave up four earned runs on five hits in two innings before him. Kevin Walsh pitched a perfect eighth inning.
Connor Buchmann allowed two earned runs on four of UAPB’s eight hits in the first 3 2/3 innings, but took the win.