WACO, Texas – A two-run seventh inning doomed Baylor in a 3-1 loss to No. 8 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. The Bears' (18-17, 6-4 Big 12) chance to take over first place in the Big 12 standings was washed away by a solid mound performance by Sooners (28-7, 8-3 Big 12) starter Dillon Overton.
For the second straight game Baylor faced a tough OU pitcher who threw eight strong innings, but was unable to capitalize on scoring chances after a second-inning run. Overton (7-2) earned the win as he allowed one run on six scattered hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Baylor worked for its lone run as Jake Miller drew a one-out walk from Overton and moved to third on a well-executed hit-and-run single by Steve DalPorto. An out later, Brett Doe lifted a blooper that fell down in left-center for an RBI single.
However, Overton induced Logan Brown into a fly out to end the threat and stiffened up the rest of the way. In the third with Baylor runners on second and third and one out, he froze Grayson Porter and Miller to escape. He worked out of a jam in the seventh after a leadoff error helped Adam Toth reached second, getting Brown to ground out and Lawton Langford to lineout sharply to first. Then in the eighth, Overton squandered Nathan Orf's leadoff double by striking out Cal Towey and Porter swinging and getting Miller to pop out.
"The run we got we just found a spot out there to land," said BU Head Coach Steve Smith. "[Dillon Overton] pitched it well. I did think he was at his best with runners on base, and his numbers for the year indicate that as well. That's what the good ones do. You're not going to get a lot of cookies or mistakes with runners in scoring position. You just need to be able to get it in play, and we weren't able to do that."
BU starter Max Garner was just as good until the seventh. He started out the game by striking out five of the first 11 Sooners he faced and gave up just two hits through six innings. But a leadoff double by Matt Oberste in the seventh started trouble. Following a sacrifice bunt, Hector Lorenzana roped an RBI single to left to tie the game and end Garner's outing.
"Honestly the way the other guy was throwing, it was similar to last night where there wasn't a lot of margin for error," Smith said. "So the few mistakes [Garner] made, they took advantage of it."
Josh Michalec entered the game in relief and was quickly met with a hit-and-run single by Anthony Hermelyn. On the next play, a slow grounder to short stop Miller drove in the run that proved to be all OU needed for the win.
After adding another run in the ninth, Jacob Evans closed the game out for the Sooners for his seventh save, despite giving up a leadoff single to DalPorto.
Garner (2-4) was hung with another tough-luck loss as he threw 6.1 innings while allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. His four hits given up were the fewest he's allowed in a start of more than four innings all season.
Having his 15-game hitting streak snapped yesterday, Orf bounced back with a perfect 3-for-3 day and a walk. DalPorto also had a multi-hit day for the second straight game, going 2-for-4.
The teams play the series rubber match tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. CT as BU RHP Austin Stone (2-2, 3.33 ERA) will take on Oklahoma's starter that has yet to be announced.
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