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Sooners build early lead, hold off Cougars

Apr. 18—Already leading 3-0, a three-hit, three-run fifth inning gave Oklahoma a comfortable lead in its series opener against BYU on Thursday.

The Cougars opened up the bottom of the inning with a lead off home run and scored two more runs to keep the pressure on the visiting Sooners. Still, on a night when Oklahoma's offense had 12 hits and starting pitcher Braden Davis was keeping the Cougars' hitters off balance, the Sooners were able to keep it rolling with their fifth straight win.

BYU added three runs in the ninth inning, but ended up settling for a 10-8 loss.

Davis only allowed one single through the first four innings of the game. The Cougars wouldn't break through until getting four hits in the fifth inning.

Davis went 6.1 innings and allowed five hits and three earned runs, while striking out 11 of the 26 batters he faced.

Anthony Mackenzie put the Sooners' first run on the board in the top of the first on a two-out single to left field. Mackenzie would score the second run himself in the fourth off a two-RBI single by Jaxon Willits.

The Cougars made two costly errors in the seventh and ninth innings that scored two decisive runs.

Easton Carmichael and Michael Snyder each went 3-5 at the plate. Snyder drove in two runs on a double to right centerfield in the fifth inning.

The Sooners brought in three pitchers over the final three innings to close out the win. The Cougars got four hits and scored five runs after Davis left the game. Only two of those runs were earned.

The Sooners' pitching staff struck out 15 batters and walked four while allowing nine hits.

They entered the day tied with West Virginia for first place in the Big 12 standings. With a win in one of the next two games, the Sooners would improve to 4-2 in conference series this season.

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Oklahoma will be back in action on Friday to face BYU at 7 p.m. The series finale will be on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Both games will be televised on ESPN+.