NORMAN, Okla. -- Southeast Missouri State University's baseball team put up a battle against perennial national power Oklahoma during the Indians' season opener Friday afternoon.
But the Sooners pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th inning to hand the Indians a 5-4 defeat. Oklahoma improved to 3-1.
In the decisive 10th, Luke Alexander drew a one-out walk and stole second. After an intentional walk, Matt Bose flew out to center field as Alexander tagged and headed toward third. Southeast center fielder Vern Hatton's throw to third hit Alexander's helmet and bounced into the dugout, allowing Alexander to score the game-ending run.
"It was a brutal way to lose for us, but I couldn't be prouder of our club," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said.
Mark Frazier was the tough-luck losing pitcher. He hurled the final 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit and an unearned run while striking out four and walking three.
Southeast starter Brad Purcell gave up eight hits and four runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. He fanned none and walked three.
Oklahoma scored single runs in each of the first two innings but Southeast surged ahead with a four-run fourth, taking advantage of three hits, four walks and an error.
The Sooners tied the contest with two runs in the fifth and that's the way things stood until the 10th.
Hatton and Tristen McDonald each had two of Southeast's 10 hits. McDonald, Denver Stuckey and Zach Borowiak all drove in a run.
Oklahoma had nine hits, two each by Bose and Spencer Wyman. Mark Roberts, the third pitcher for the Sooners, worked the final 2 1/3 innings for the victory. He allowed one hit and no runs.
Both squads left 10 runners on base and Oklahoma turned a rare triple play in the sixth inning.
The squads will resume their three-game series today with an 11 a.m. first pitch. The finale will be at noon Sunday.