Oklahoma has watched a lot of teams celebrate in the last year.
Missouri in the Big 12 Tournament final a year ago, South Carolina in the Super Regional as they advanced to the College World Series against the Sooners, then just more than a week ago when Kansas State celebrated the Big 12 regular-season baseball title with a win over OU in Manhattan.
Sunday, the Sooners will either watch yet another team celebrate or get a chance to dogpile itself after beating Kansas State 7-6 in a wild, 11-inning game in the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
After twice needing just one more out to finish off the win only to see Kansas State tie it, Craig Aikin's RBI single in the 11th finally put the Sooners ahead for good.
Even then Kansas State didn't go down easily, though.
The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half before Kyle Hayes came on to strike out the last two batters to end it.
“The ups and downs were crazy,” Sooners center fielder Max White said. “It was really motivating. To see both teams fight and battle like that is unbelievable. We just had to keep fighting.”
In his ninth season at the helm of the Sooners, Sunny Golloway is still looking for his first Big 12 title — either regular season or in the tournament.
“That monkey on my back has turned into an ape,” Golloway said. “Maybe getting everybody together at a neutral site and winning it — I don't want to take anything away from Kansas State, they are awesome — but maybe we can say, ‘Hey, maybe we are a worthy No. 1 in the Big 12.' Maybe.”
The Sooners will face Kansas at 1 p.m. Sunday.
It looked for a while like the Sooners would cruise into the game, taking a 5-1 lead into the ninth.
Up to that point, OU's pitching staff had given up just one hit in the first 26 innings of the tournament.
But the Sooners had been flirting with disaster, needing three double plays and getting the Wildcats to strand nine through the first eight innings to get themselves into that spot.
Kansas State finally came up with some timely hits, especially Mitch Meyer's two-run single to tie it off Sooners' closer Jacob Evans.
Oklahoma took the lead again in the tenth, on Matt Oberste's RBI single, only to watch Kansas State tie it yet again in the bottom half.
Taylor Alspaugh's one-out double set up Aikin's game-winner.
“Coach G was telling him the whole way to stay on top of it and hit it the other way and he could beat it out or get a hit,” White said of Aikin.
Golloway wasn't sure who he would start on the mound in the championship game, having gone through each of his three normal starters over the tournament's first three days.
The Sooners figure to string together several different pitchers to get through it.