NORMAN, Okla. - A home run by Matt Oberste in the fourth inning was all Oklahoma needed to put away the Northwestern State baseball team in a 1-0 in a game that saw Sooner starting pitcher Jonathan Gray throw a complete-game shutout.
The second contest of the three-game set will be played Saturday at 2:00, and the final match will be on Sunday at 1 o'clock.
Oberste had a 3-0 count on NSU (9-11) starting pitcher Robert Baker (2-1) when he hit a long-ball over left field wall. Baker pitched eight innings and allowed six hits, two walks, and struck out five Sooners.
"Baker had another great start," said first-year head coach Lane Burroughs. "He competed his tail off and gave us a chance to win."
Gray (4-1) gave up five hits and struck out 12 batters. Oklahoma improves to 15-4 on the season.
"Gray was still hitting 100 miles per hour in the ninth inning," said Burroughs. "He is one of the best in the country and didn't throw a fastball that was less than 95 mph."
The Demons left five batters on base on the game, including three in scoring position.
Todd Wallace led off the second inning with a single to shortstop. Matthew Farmer struck out swinging, and Matt Burns singled up the middle to get Wallace advanced to second.
Garrett Killgore and Nathan Lyons were struck out looking to end the inning.
"Gray was electric to say the least. He constantly worked ahead in the count," said Burroughs. "He had command of all three of his pitches."
Zach Costa reached second base after he reached on an error and Toby Cornejo put down a sacrifice bunt, but Brinson and Purdy were sat down in order to get Gray out of the inning.
Wallace also led off the seventh inning with a single and advanced to second after Farmer moved him over on a sacrifice bunt. Gray sat Burns and Gomez, who was pinch hitting, in order.
Wallace was the only player in the game who had multiple-hits.
After the series with OU, the Demons will travel to LSU on Wednesday before returning home for Southeastern Louisiana to open Southland Conference play.