OMAHA, Neb. – Oklahoma baseball players have reached the University World Series calling themselves “a group of Davids,” a nod to their embrace of the disadvantaged identity they adopted after a disappointing start to the season.
It was a David Sandlin David who earned most of the credit on Wednesday for defeating Texas A&M, the last of the national series leaders in the NCAA Tournament.
Sandlin kept the Aggies on a run and hit 12 in seven innings, Jimmy Crooks ’three-run homer in the first held and Oklahoma advanced to the CWS finals with a 5-1 victory.
Trying to complete a sweep of softball and baseball titles, the Sooners (45-22) have won three straight games at Charles Schwab Field for no less than four races and will play their first national championship since 1994.
Oklahoma’s rival in the finals of the best of three that will begin on Saturday will be Arkansas or Mississippi. Arkansas beat Ole Miss 3-2 on Wednesday night to force another game on Thursday.
While Sooners fans chanted “OU! OU!” Trevin Michael struck out Brett Minnich to end the game against the Aggies. The celebration was subdued.
“I think those kids are focused,” coach Skip Johnson said. “I don’t know if it’s a heap of dogs or whatever … Sometimes it’s weird. I’m not telling them not to pile up, I can tell you. “
Texas A&M (44-20) finished 2-2 in the CWS with first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle after going 29-27, winning just nine Southeast Conference games and not even qualifying for the 2021 league tournament.
The Sooners didn’t look like an NCAA Tournament team after losing two of their first three Big 12 series and starting 18-12. They have won 27 of 37, including 12 of 14 since the end of the regular season.
Sandlin, in his first season with the Sooners after transferring from junior high, had pitched a third of a relief entry in the Sooners ’13-8 win over the Aggies on Friday. He was marked for four races.
The purpose of this appearance was to prepare Sandlin for the high atmosphere. It turned out to be a good plan. Sandlin said he had put too much effort into his brief appearance and took a different approach on Wednesday.
“I just relied on my preparation,” he said. “I feel like it was more muscle memory today than anything else. Just going out there and him just running, don’t think too much about things.”
Sandlin (9-4), who allowed five hits and took a walk in his 100-throw outing, effectively worked the outside half of the plate with a sharp slider and a high-speed ball.
He struck out the first three batters he faced, five of the first eight and 10 of the first 20. He found problems in the fourth inning when the first two batters reached base. He then fanned Troy Claunch, Brett Minnich and Jordan Thompson in 12 pitches.
“He’s just able to mix up all of his releases,” Claunch said. “He was able to get ahead early with fast balls, and next time he was able to mix and throw whatever he wanted when he wanted to.”
Texas A&M starter Ryan Prager (1-4) allowed four runs, three wins, in 2 1/3 innings. Jacob Palisch went the rest of the way, giving three hits and one run and punches to eight.
The Aggies beat Texas and Notre Dame to reach the group finals. But they couldn’t score against Sandlin until Dylan Rock hit a homer between center left and sixth.
Sandlin then withdrew the last six batters he faced and turned the game around to shutter Trevin Michael to start the eighth.
The Sooners led 3-0 in the first in the fourth crooks of the NCAA Tournament, and in the ninth of the season, and added individual runs in the third and fifth. OR it wasn’t after their CWS games.
“They’ve shown over the last six, seven days that they’re the best team in our group, at least playing the best baseball,” Schlossnagle said. “Very, very steady starting pitch, defense, timely hits.”
Sooners goes to the College World Series finals after beating A&M
Source link Sooners goes to the College World Series finals after beating A&M