For the first time since 2010, the Oklahoma Sooners are headed to the College World Series, clinching the berth with a 11-2 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Game 3 of the Blacksburg Super Regional.
Two months ago, Skip Johnson’s Sooners were looking like a bubble team following a pair of frustrating series losses to Texas and Oklahoma State. Those struggles, however, are a distant memory. After winning first straight Big 12 series, sweeping its way through the Big 12 Tournament, topping Florida twice in the Gainesville regional and taking two of three at Virginia Tech, there really isn’t a hotter team in college baseball.
The star of the day for the Sooners at the plate was senior Tanner Tredaway, who went 4-5 with two homers, two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored.
If not for Tredaway, the MVP of the game might have been Kendall Pettis, who homered and provided a pair of web gems to help lift the Sooners on Sunday. He even received some recognition from national champion Jayda Coleman, who knows a few things about big plays with the glove.
Once again, freshman Cade Horton was a steady presence on the mound, recording 6.0 IP, two hits, two earned runs, eight strikeouts and only two walks. The Norman native took over as the Sunday starter during OU’s stretch run and has been one of the biggest keys to this season’s fortunes.
Overall, the Sooners outhit the Hokies by a count of 15-2, once again coming up huge in a championship situation. This lineup continues to demonstrate that 1 through 9 can make you pay at any time, and the three weekend starters have all show an ability to quiet a loud offense. Perhaps as vital as anything is the confidence of Trevin Michael, who has become one of the most intimidating bullpen presences in the country.
OKLAHOMA KNOCKS OUT NO. 4 VIRGINIA TECH TO GO TO THE MEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES pic.twitter.com/t2m3hgOAvk— ESPN (@espn) June 12, 2022
Sooner Nation and the college baseball community absolutely has to tip its cap to Skip Johnson, whose team was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 prior to the season. He was robbed of a shot at Omaha in 2020, but he’s showing that he’s absolutely the man for the job in 2022. He’s one of the most insightful people in the sport, and I love that he’ll now start receiving the respect that he deserves.