Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 27 Feb 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Whitney homer downs Sooners, 4-3

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LAS VEGAS—Derrick Whitney belted a solo homer in the top of the ninth inning for a 4-3 BYU victory Friday, but Oklahoma bounced back to win the nightcap, 3-2.

Whitney’s two-out dinger over the right-field fence came off a 1-1 count and gave BYU (2-9) its second victory of the year.

Gonzaga transfer Michael Rucker (1-1) picked up his first win as a Cougar, striking out a pair of Sooners to close the seventh. Rucker struck out the lead-off batter in the eighth and maintained his composure in the ninth frame when the pressure was on after OU got a one-out triple.

"Jeff (Barker) gave us a quality start in game one and Mike Rucker followed him up with 2 2/3 of strong relief to earn the win," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "The bottom half of our lineup gave us some quality at bats and that ended up being the difference in the game. (Alec) Hansen was sitting 96-98 all game, with a plus slider and we did a nice job swinging at pitches we could handle. We've talked as a team about being a hit away from getting wins and Whit (Derrick Whitney) got that big hit for us today."

Brennon Lund led off the nightcap with a single, stole second and scored to give BYU a 1-0 lead following Parker Starr’s single. The Sooners tied game two in the second, scoring off a double play, before taking a 2-1 lead on a Cougar balk.

Oklahoma (8-5) scored its go-ahead run in the eighth, singling through the legs of Colton Shaver at first base, and then threw Cougars Lund and Court Iorg, respectively, out at home in the eighth and ninth innings.

BYU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 4-3 victory, due to a two-run double by Dillon Robinson down the left-field line in the fourth inning. The Sooners picked up a run in the bottom of the fourth, but BYU countered with a run in the fifth when Starr led off with a single and scored off a fielder’s choice after a Whitney double.

Shaver extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double in the sixth in the first game and a pair of singles in the second.

Oklahoma tied game one in the seventh as Jeff Barker was relieved by Hayden Rogers, then Rucker. Brandon Kinser went the distance on the mound in game two and recorded the loss.

"Brandon Kinser was great tonight, and pitched well enough to get the win," Littlewood said. "We didn't capitalize when we had offensive chances, and didn't run the bases like a D1 team in game two."

BYU and OU close the four-game series in Las Vegas on Saturday at Cashman Field in Las Vegas at 1 p.m. PT.

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