Oklahoma 5, Wichita State 4
It didn’t come easy for Oklahoma, but the Sooners did win their first game in the Norman Regional. Starter, Andrew Doyle only lasted 2 2/3 innings and Wichita State had a 4-1 lead after the first three innings. Sunny Golloway went to the bullpen early and reliever Garrett Anderson held the Shockers at bay for 5 1/3 innings before giving way to closer Ryan Duke who also produced a scoreless 9th inning for Oklahoma.
Aaron Baker went yard in the 4th to cut Wichita State’s lead to 4-2 then it was in the 6th that Oklahoma did the most damage. Garrett Buechele hit a two-run double to tie the game and then proved to be the winning run when he scored on a Ross Hubbard sacrifice fly.
The two red flags that should come out of this game for Sooners fans is that Oklahoma’s starting pitching was bad and that the Sooners were held to just 7 hits by a pitcher with a 5-4 record.
Arkansas 10, Washington State 3
This game was much closer than the final score would indicate as the Razorbacks had an extremely difficult time getting hits off Cougar’s starting pitcher, Matt Way. It was the 8th inning that would elevate the Hogs over Washington State and set up a show down with the Regional’s top seed, Oklahoma, on Saturday evening.
Trailing, 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Arkansas struck for 9 runs (7 with 2 outs) against the Cougar bullpen to pull away 10-3. The Cougars left several runners stranded and were victimized by a spectacular diving catch made by Razorback’s right fielder Jarrod McKinney with two outs and the bases loaded. CougCenter has their post game thoughts up.
Washington State vs. Wichita State – The winner stays alive as the long shot and the loser gets sent packing. You have to figure that the Cougars are the team with the most left in the tank as the really only fell to the Hogs because of one bad inning of baseball. However, the Shockers have a distinct advantage over Washington State in terms of post season experience and may be better equipped to handle the pressure of an elimination game.
Arkasas vs. Oklahoma – Arkansas is undefeated against both Washington State and Oklahoma. The Cougars failed in their attempt at revenge on Friday but now Oklahoma gets their shot. The Razorbacks defeated the Sooners 8-7 in 10 innings late last month. In that game the Sooners hit three homeruns and had a two-run advantage going into the bottom of the 9th. Much like Washington State on Friday, the Sooners felt as if they had let one slip away to the Hogs.
The winner of this contest will be setting pretty as it will have escaped being put into an elimination game and will have to lose twice on Sunday to be eliminated or only win once to move on to the Super Regional.