NORMAN, Okla. – Senior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) started the game with a two-run home run in the first and sophomore center fielder Steele Walker (Prosper, Texas) added a solo shot in the sixth of game one of the Oklahoma baseball fall world series. The two home runs provided all the runs for the winning side as the camo clad team representing Veteran’s Corner defeated the white Choose Hope, an Ovarian Cancer Awareness group, team 3-2 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior shortstop Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) picked up VC’s first hit of the day; an opposite-field single sliced over shot. O’Brien came to the plate with two down and was first pitch swinging as he belted his home run deep to left off CH junior right-handed starter Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.).
CH rallied in the top of the third and got two runners into scoring position without a hit. A one-out walk, a fielder’s choice and a groundout to first set up a two-run double to the left-center gap by Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas) to tie the game, 2-2. Hollas finished the day 3-for-3, including an infield-single.
The white side appeared poised to take its first lead of the day with the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the sixth. Hollas and senior catcher Renae Martinez (San Pedro, Calif.) set the table with back-to-back singles and an error filled the bases. Sophomore right-hander Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) then escaped without any damage as he induced a pop out to second and a 6-4-3 groundball-double play.
Berry (1-0) would get the win in two innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Grove (Oklahoma City) threw three innings in the start for the camo team with two runs against him on three hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Redshirt-junior lefty Austin Kerns (Owasso, Okla.) pitched the middle innings and struck out one and walked one in two innings of work.
For the white team, Perez allowed two runs on three hits with one strikeout in the start. Redshirt-junior right-hander Joey Zurawik (Bixby, Okla.) and freshman right-hander Braden Minor (Wichita, Kan.) each tossed a scoreless-frame of middle relief. Zurawik struck out two and threw just 10 pitches in a spotless-inning and Minor struck out the side around a two-out single.
Game two of the series is set for Wednesday, October 26 at 3:30 p.m. and concludes Friday, October 28. On Thursday, October 27, the Sooners host their fourth annual ALS Awareness Halloween Game at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Finally, the week wraps up with the team’s alumni game on Sunday, October 30 at 11 a.m. Admission is free to all events.