College World Series Wednesday Recap: Oklahoma Advances, Arkansas Stays Alive
The Oklahoma Sooners advanced to the College World Series final, while Arkansas held off elimination.
Sooners keep rolling, beat Texas A&M 5-1
After losing the opener to Oklahoma on Friday, the Aggies would go on to beat Texas and Notre Dame, forcing a rematch with their former Big 12 rival.
Oklahoma landed a big punch early, as Jimmy Crooks hit a three-run homer in the first off Ryan Prager. Crooks had a three-run homer in the opening game as well.
In the third, Aggies first basemen Ryan Targac simply missed catching the ball off a routine grounder to second. Peyton Graham who moved to third base, would go on to score as a result of the horrendous error. Texas A&M finished with 18 errors in the postseason, the most of all teams.
A Tanner Tredaway RBI single in the fifth would make it 5-0, and that would be more than enough for Sooner starter David Sandlin.
Sandlin entered the day with a 5.93 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, but completely shut down one of the best offenses in Omaha. The sophomore went seven innings deep, and the only run he gave up would be from a Dylan Rock solo shot in the sixth. He struck out 12, with a fastball in the mid 90s, a nasty changeup, and a wipeout slider in his arsenal.
Lefty Jacob Palisch came in to give them 5 2/3 innings of one-run relief. Usually closing the ninth, Coach Jim Schlossnagle brought him in, in the third. Though he had kept the game in distance, the Aggies were unable to close in.
Trevin Michael got the final six outs for Oklahoma, sending them to the College World Series final. The hottest team in baseball got the job done in just three games, saving the arms of ace Jake Bennett and freshman Cade Horton from a second start.
Arkansas holds on late, beat Ole Miss 3-2 to force winner-take-all game
After beating Auburn 11-1 Tuesday night, Arkansas got itself a rematch with an Ole Miss team that dominated them earlier in Omaha.
Chris Lanzilli brought in the game’s first run in the second, with a solo shot to left. However, the Rebels answered with a homer of their own, at the hands of Kemp Alderman.
It would be a 1-1 tie until Brady Slavens homered in the fifth. The first ball to clear the centerfield wall in Omaha the entire tournament.
Freshman Hagen Smith got the start for the Razorbacks. He would go five innings, striking out eight and only allowing one, despite four walks. Ole Miss’ Josh Gaddis also went five-deep, allowing two runs.
Michael Turner had an RBI single in the eighth, giving the Hogs a much-needed insurance run, making it 3-1.
What was an intense, tight game for the first eight innings only got more intense in the ninth. Kemp Alderman led off the inning with a single, forcing Coach Dave Van Horn to take out Evan Taylor and bring in Brady Tygart.
Tygart went on to throw five pitches, hitting two Ole Miss batters and loading the bases with the winning run on first and no outs. Zack Morris replaced him on the bump, and with the season on the line. He struck out Hayden Leatherwood and pop fly that caused shortstop Jalen Battles and left fielder Zack Gregory to collide in shallow left… Gregory held on to make it two outs.
A bases loaded, no outs situation had quickly turned to Ole Miss being one pitch away from ending the game. Justin Bench hit a ball through the five-hole, which was stopped by Jalen Battles, but brought in a run to make it 3-2. The next batter, Jacob Gonzalez, would go on to fly out to left, and Arkansas would survive another day.
Ole Miss found themselves in the driver’s seat going into last night, but are now one game away from elimination. They will likely go to ace Dylan DeLucia for the winner-take-all game, with an appearance for the final on the line.