COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sunny Golloway was disappointed, but managed to sound happy. A 5-1 season-ending loss at South Carolina in Monday's Game 2 of the NCAA Columbia Super Regional stung, but Oklahoma's eighth-year coach said it didn't take away from the Sooners' journey to get there.
Simply, the Sooners (42-25) weren't that good early in the season, but they righted themselves to be two wins from the College World Series. Ending the season still two wins short of Omaha was hurtful, but when taken with how OU had steered itself through a rough patch to get there, the pain was soothed.
“We lost 25 games, and got to go toe-to-toe with a team in a Super Regional that has won back to back national championships,” Golloway said. “I think it's a tribute to the young men who represent the University of Oklahoma baseball program.”
Oklahoma won 24 of its final 35 games, a streak that started on April 10 and featured wonderful moments. The Sooners swept Baylor on its home field to give the Bears their only Big 12 series loss of the season. They lost the Big 12 tournament championship game by a run. They won four games in two days in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional to advance to the Sweet 16 of college baseball.
That the journey didn't quite come to a wonderful end wasn't a knock on what had gone on during it.
A rain-delayed in Game 2 knocked out starter Jonathan Gray, who had been overwhelming with nine strikeouts, and closer Steven Okert (9-8) couldn't quite get it done. The Gamecocks (45-17) scored the game's first run on a wild throw to third and another on a wild pitch, and even after the Sooners got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, USC knew its time was at hand.