Oklahoma lost their opener in the NCAA Baseball Tournament,5-4, to Appalachian State on Saturday but have now bounced back to win four games in the last two days to take home the Charlottesville Regional championship. After eliminating Army and Virginia on Sunday afternoon by basically earning their way on base through walks and being hit by pitches the Sooners brought their bats against the Mountaineers on Monday.
The Sooners went into the first game needing to win in order to push the series to a second "do or die" game. After falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Oklahoma responded by scoring 14 runs over the final six innings. Matt Oberste went 4-for-4 from the plate, scoring four runs and knocking in four RBI as well. Cody Reine had a three run home run in the seventh and then a two RBI triple in the eighth to help him finish with 6 RBI on the game. Garrett Carey followed Reine's homer with a solo shot of his own. When all was said in done, the Sooners had scored their 14 runs off 13 hits on their way to a 14-6 rout of Appalachian State to force game two.
Following suit the Mountaineers scored a run in the top of the first to draw first blood but just as in the first game of the day it was all Oklahoma from there. Caleb Bushyhead scored in the bottom half of the inning, off a Matt Oberste single, to tie the game at 1-1. Then Evan Mistich and Oberste scored on a Jack Mayfield double to put the Sooners on top 3-1 at the end of the first frame.
Oklahoma scored another run in the third when Mistich came home on a Mayfield sacrifice. The two teams swapped runs in the sixth to end the scoring on the day and bring us to the final of 5-2, and sending the Sooners to the Super Regional in Columbia, South Carolina to face the defending national champions.
Where pitchers were a premium on Sunday, Sooner Skipper Sunny Galloway went all out on Monday and pretty much emptied the bullpen. Damien Magnifico got off to a shaky start in the first game so Galloway went to the pen early and then often, using a total of five pitchers in the game. Steven Bruce picked up the win after throwing 3.2 innings.
In the second game Oklahoma used three pitchers to get past the Mountaineers. Starter Drew Harrison went six strong innings, allowing two runs off three hits. Jordan John relieved him and threw two innings of scoreless relief before Steven Okert took the mound to close out the game by retiring the only three batters he faced.
Gutsy doesn't even begin to describe what Oklahoma did the last two days on the baseball diamond. They got on base when they couldn't hit and sent the ball out of the park when they could. This four game streak is all about team ball and depth. They'll need much of the same, if not more, next weekend in order to move past South Carolina and into the College World Series.