Oklahoma Sooners Baseball Weekend Recap, Charlottesville Regional
The Sooners began their weekend in heart breaking fashion, losing to Appalachian State 5-4, however head coach Sunny Golloway and crew would not be derailed from their final goal.
Jordan John, Oklahoma’s ace, threw eight solid innings, allowing four runs, but only two of them were earned. For as good as John’s performance on the mound was, Appalachian State’s Ryan Arrowood was even more impressive. Arrowood did not allow a hit until the 7th inning when Caleb Bushyhead was able to eke out a single.
The Sooners were not willing to go down in a quiet fashion, however. Oklahoma mounted a comeback, plating home four runs in the final two innings before Appalachian State’s Ryne Frankoff came in and recorded the final three outs for his first save of the season. It was not the start to the tournament that Oklahoma had wanted or anticipated, but they didn’t allow the loss to derail them.
Continuing the dramatic theme of the weekend, the Sooner’s needed extra innings to put Army away 2-1.
As you would imagine with that score, this game was a battle of the arms. Johnathan Gray started for the Sooner’s and was able to pitch seven strong, allowing one run with six strikeouts. It is going to be the Sooner’s ability to strike batters out that is going to keep them in contention throughout the tournament.
Logan Lee, Army’s left handed starter, also threw seven innings, only allowing two hits and one run in addition to four walks. However, the hero’s of the game for the Sooners were Max White and Steven Okert. When Gray tired, manager Sunny Golloway called on Okert in relief. Golloway would not be disappointed, as Okert’s one hit and three strikeouts over the next three innings would help provide Golloway with his 300th win as a coach.
Okert built the bridge before Max White secured the victory for the Sooners in the 10th. White singled home Caleb Bushyhead for the winning run off of Army pitcher Gunnar Carroll.
Power arms continued to be the theme later in the day, as Oklahoma was able to eliminate Virginia from the tournament on a 5-4 score, this time in Oklahoma’s favor. Dillon Overton started for the Sooners and over-powered Virginia’s batters. While he did give up two earned runs, he was also able to strike out a career high 11 batters.
Matt Oberste led the charge for the Sooners on offense as he was recorded his sixth home run in the 2nd inning. Oberste is getting hot at the right time for the Sooners, four of his six homers have taken place over the last five games.
OU’s Erik Ross would provide the Sooners with the deciding run. In close games, the team that manufactures runs is more than likely going to come out on top. That is precisely what Ross was able to do in the seventh. He legged it out to first base on an error, hopped up and stole second, took a short breather before stealing third, and then finally scored on a Caleb Bushyhead RBI single.
With the win over Virginia, the Sooners got another shot at Appalachian State, and made the most out of it. Oklahoma piled on the runs in the second game between the two teams, dominating the Mountaineers 14-6. With the win, the Sooners and Mountaineers would get one more crack at one another in a winner take all contest.
OU took an early 3-1 lead over App State, and never looked back, topping the Mountaineers 5-2.
The Sooners once again proved that Charlottesville is home away from home. Next up for Golloway and crew is the Columbia Regional where they will face off against two-time defending champion South Carolina, and a potent Gamecocks’ team.
The first two games of the series — Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) and Sunday at 6 p.m. (CT) — will be televised nationally on ESPNU. If necessary, the third game will be Monday at 6 p.m. (CT) and will be carried on ESPN2. Radio for all three games of the series will also be available on KREF 1400 AM.
MVP of the weekend: Dillion Overton, for his 8.1 IP, 7H, 2 ER, 11 SO
(Statistics courtesy of SoonerSports.com)