Oklahoma did exactly what they needed to do on Sunday, now their post season run may rest squarely on the shoulder of Damien Magnifico as they head into Monday. The Sooners eliminated Army in the morning game in a ten inning affair. Max White knocked in Caleb Bushyhead in the top of the tenth to push Oklahoma in front 2-1 and then OU held on through the bottom half of the inning to score the win and put the Sooners in the second elimination game of the day, this time they would be playing the host team Virginia.
When you think about it, the day set up exactly the way Oklahoma needed it to. A single elimination game against Virginia put everything on the line and avoided the advantage of having the beat the host team twice on their home field in the same day.
The Sooners jumped out in front of the Cavilers in the bottom of the second when Matt Oberste went yard as the lead-off batter. Oklahoma then extended the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Jack Mayfield scored Cody Reine, Oberste and Evan Mistich with a triple.
Virginia added a run in the top of the fifth before the Sooners added their much needed insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Caleb Bushyhead knocked in Erik Ross with a single up the middle. That run became extremely important because Virginia came storming back in the top of the ninth. The Cavilers scored three runs in their last at bat, largely due to a communication error between Max White and Cody Reine on at Stephen Bruno popup. White and Reine let the ball drop, scoring two runs and advancing Bruno to second as the tying run. Kendle Ladd got Derek Fisher to ground out to first base to end the game and the Sooners could finally take a sigh of relief knowing that they survived the day.
Oklahoma's starting pitching was superb once again on Sunday. Jonathan Gray went seven innings in the first game, allowing just one run to score off five hits. Steven Okert then came in to throw three innings of scoreless relief. In the second game Dillon Overton gave the Sooners 8.1 innings. He was responsible for three runs off seven hits but also struck out a career high eleven batters before Ladd came in to close it out. More importantly the long performances by Gray and Overton allowed OU to save the majority of their bullpen for Monday where they will be needed if the Sooners are going to win two more games and take the regional.
Oklahoma will throw Damien Magnifico in the first game against Appalachian State with the hopes of making it to a second. Obviously the Sooners need the Magnifico that completely shut down Arkansas earlier in the year to show up instead of the version of him that showed up in the Big XII championship game against Missouri. If the Sooners can down the Mountaineers in game one then game two will most likely become a game of attrition between the bullpens and you have to believe that favors the Sooners. The first game is set to begin at 3:00 CST.