Made to look foolish in the opener, Oklahoma rallied from
"an old-fashion kicking" to split a Big Eight Conference
doubleheader with Kansas State on April Fools' night at
Dale Mitchell Park in Norman.
Junior righthander Jim Huslig overcame one bad inning to
pitch his best game of the year, a 6-3 Sooner victory in
the nightcap that offset KSU's 12-1 thrashing in the opener.
Russ Ringgenberg triggered a 14-hit Kansas State assault
with a double and three singles to support Dave Hierholzer's
six-hitter in the early game.
"You've got to respect a team that can hit like that,"
said Huslig. "They showed what they could do."
The Wildcats showed Huslig a glimpse in the late game, matching
OU's three-run first-inning outburst in the top of the second.
Craig Wilson's fourth consecutive double keyed the rally
and he scored on a Brad Rippelmeyer double to right. But
those hits were the last extra-base hits allowed by Huslig
in the seven-inning game.
"It was like I was letting up," said Huslig. "I need
to keep psyching myself up."
OU's offensive return helped the psychological process.
The Sooners scored three in the first on a Mark Cole double,
a Chris Ebright single and Wade Inman's run-scoring single.
Scott Campbell, a late replacement for injured third baseman
Rich Samplinski, spurred a three-run third-inning with a
two-run homer, his second of the doubleheader.
The sophomore transfer from Southern California was asked
to fill in after Samplinski aggravated a stress fracture
in his foot.
Huslig's performance may have been his last chance to remain
in the Big Eight pitching rotation. And, he considers himself
lucky to have been given one more chance.
"I didn't think I was going to get to start," said the
junior who brought an 0-2 record and 9.47 earned run average
into the game. "It meant a lot for my confidence for (pitching)
coach (Stan) Meek to give me another shot. I'm thankful
he stuck with me."
Another struggling Sooner starter, Mike Ponio, was not so
fortunate. KSU ripped the righthander right off the bat.
Given an immediate 3-0 lead, Hierholzer never encountered
difficulty en route to the Cats' first baseball victory
in Norman since 1981. Of the six hits he surrendered, two
were by No. 3 hitter Ebright and three came from Campbell's
seventh spot in the order. Five of the six hits came with
The 16-5 Wildcats pounded a quartet of OU pitchers in the
opener. Ringgenberg's double keyed a three-run first inning
and his third-inning single was one of five hits in a six-run
frame that swelled KSU's lead to 9-0.
Successive hits by Bill Barnard and Craig Wilson delivered
two runs each in the decisive inning.
Kansas State added single runs in the fourth, fifth and
seventh innings to complete the rout.
"They gave us an old-fashioned kicking in the first game,"
said OU coach Enos Semore. "So it was important for us
to jump out on them in the first inning and make a statement."
OU, 17-7 overall and 2-1 in conference games, will start
Kory Keling in Sunday's 2 p.m. series closer.
ORU 14-19, New Mexico State 12-11: The Titans banged out
16 hits, including three home runs, two by Rod Steiner,
to defeat the Aggies in the first game of a doubleheader
sweep at Las Cruces, N.M. Andy Summers, who hit a solo home
run in the first game, cracked two more in the nightcap
as the Titans outlasted the Aggies.
ORU improved its record to 24-10, while New Mexico State
fell to 27-16.
The teams play a single game Sunday at noon.
OU 1-6, KANSAS STATE 12-3
Kansas State 306 110 1 - 12 14 0
Oklahoma 000 001 0 - 1 6 0
Hierholzer and Skala. Ponio, Cobb (3), Dean (3), Inman
(4) and Cox. W - Hierholzer (4-0). L - Ponio (2-2). HR - KSU,
Collins (6); OU, Campbell (2).
Kansas State 030 000 0 - 3 7 0
Oklahoma 303 000 x - 6 7 0
Peterson and Skala. Huslig and Cox. W - Huslig (1-2). L - Peterson
(4-2). HR - Campbell (3).
ORU 14-19, NEW MEXICO STATE 12-11
ORU 543 200 0 - 14 16 2
New Mexico 032 200 5 - 12 13 3
Wheatley and Marseilles; Vega, Koester (1), Nute (2),
Cruz (5) and Curtis. W - Wheatley (3-3). L - Vega (2-2). HR - ORU,
Summers (5), Steiner 2 (7). New Mexico, Moccia (13), Hollister (5).
ORU 313 306 120 - 19 17 3
New Mexico 102 402 101 - 11 15 5
Watkins, Franklin (4) and Blake; Chafin, Campbell (6),
Griego (6), Troy (7) and Curtis, Rickert (8). W - Franklin
(3-0). L - Chafin (5-4). HR - ORU, Summers 2 (7), Meade (4),
Stengel (4), Berry (4). New Mexico, Williams (6), Fanning
(8), Padilla (2).