Entering this weekend, UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie couldn’t have asked for anything more than to beat Oklahoma State.
After making it happen, he was quick to praise OSU as a Super Regional host and a program.
“The organization of this Super Regional was A-plus,” he said. “My hats off to the people who put that together.
“Oklahoma State deserves high marks for picking Josh Holliday as their coach. Oklahoma State baseball is an elite program and will be for a long time.”
WHEELAND THROWS CAREER HIGH IN FINAL GAME
Rather than going with No. 2 starter Tyler Buffett, Josh Holliday and Rob Walton started senior relief pitcher Vince Wheeland on Saturday against UC Irvine.
Wheeland entered the game 10-0 with a 1.53 ERA out of the bullpen, but made only two starts all season.
He ended up going 6 2/3 innings, throwing a career-high 110 pitches. He allowed nine hits, but only one run. Wheeland’s previous career high in pitches was 104, and the most he threw in 2014 before Saturday was 77.
The 1-0 loss was OSU’s first one-run loss of the year.
TOP OF ORDER GOES HITLESS
Oklahoma State’s first five hitters couldn’t get anything going Saturday, combining to go 0-for-16 against UC Irvine’s Andrew Morales.
Morales threw a complete-game shutout, and the Oklahoma State order registered only five hits for the night.
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Morales, a senior, with the 71st overall pick in the MLB Draft.
“He really attacked the strike zone,” second baseman Tim Arakawa said. “He was throwing three pitches, all for strikes. You never knew what he was going to throw in any situation.”
The Cowboys stranded seven runners in the game.
UCI GOES BACK TO OMAHA
With its win, UC Irvine is making its second trip to the College World Series. Since the baseball program was reinstituted from a 10-year hiatus in 2002, the Anteaters have made eight NCAA Regionals and four Super Regionals.
The Anteaters finished third in the Big West regular season, but went 5-1 in the Regional and Super Regional to earn a CWS appearance.