Sooners get on roll early, beat Aggies 13-8 in CWS opener

Sports

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Jackson Nicklaus hit a grand slam, Jake Bennett pitched six strong innings and Oklahoma jumped on Texas A&M early in a 13-8 win in the College World Series opener Friday.

The Sooners scored seven runs with two outs in the second inning to lead 8-0 and then turned back the Aggies’ comeback bids in the highest-scoring CWS game since 2008.

The Sooners (43-22), making their first appearance in Omaha since 2010, will play Sunday against the winner of the Notre Dame-Texas game Friday night. Texas A&M (42-19) will play the loser of that game.

Oklahoma won a week after the school’s softball team earned its second straight Women’s College World Series championship.

Texas A&M has lost nine straight CWS games over five appearances since they beat Kansas in 1993.

Aggies starter Nathan Dettmer lasted just 1 2/3 innings for his second-shortest outing of the season. He left with his team down 5-0 after giving up four hits and three walks and hitting a batter.

Dettmer (5-3), who hasn’t made it past the fifth inning since April, has allowed 30 earned runs in his last 24 2/3 innings (10.95 ERA).

Joseph Menefee took over for Dettmer, and Jimmy Crooks drove his second offering into the right-field bullpen for his eighth homer and an 8-0 lead.

Six Texas A&M pitchers combined to walk 10, hit three batters and strike out 12.

Oklahoma loaded the bases in the fourth on a bunt single, throwing error and walk before Nicklaus’s grand slam made it 12-3.

The Aggies got homers from Jordan Thompson and Austin Bost, and they were within four runs in the seventh after three straight RBI singles and a run-scoring groundout.

The teams’ four homers tied the Charles Schwab Field record.

Bennett (10-3), who allowed five hits and four earned runs, retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced.

It was the teams’ first meeting since Texas A&M left the Big 12 after the 2012 season.

KYLER MURRAY IN HOUSE

Arizona Cardinals quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray was on hand to watch the game between two schools he attended.

Murray spent his freshman football season at Texas A&M, where he started three games before transferring to OU after the 2015 season. He led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in 2018 and was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

Murray played outfield two seasons for the Sooners and was the No. 9 overall pick by Oakland in the 2018 Major League draft. Murray spoke to the team in Omaha on Thursday.

SQUIRES OUT

Oklahoma designated hitter Brett Squires broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning and will miss the rest of the CWS.

Nathan Dettmer hit Squires with a 2-2 fastball. Squires took first base and finished the inning. His left hand was wrapped when he returned to the dugout, and Cade Horton took over as DH.

OU got a scare in the ninth when Chris Cortez’s fastball hit Kendall Pettis in the ribs as he squared to bunt. Pettis was on his knees in pain near home plate before heading to first.

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