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OU baseball notebook: Aaron Baker’s blast kept the Sooners alive

Oklahoman Modified: June 1, 2009 at 12:52 am •  Published: June 1, 2009
Aaron Baker has a thing for postseason baseball.

A big swing for the postseason, too, apparently.

Baker clubbed a seventh-inning grand slam in the seventh inning against Washington State, stamping OU’s 7-2 win in Sunday’s elimination game.

For Baker, it was his fifth postseason home run in seven NCAA games. It was his 16th this season.

"He’s always terrific, it seems, in postseason,” said Sooners coach Sunny Golloway. "He always steps up to the great challenge. And I thought our whole club did.”

Said Baker: "Fastball. Really, I was just trying to square the ball up and drive in a run. I wasn’t necessarily trying to hit a home run.”

Baker ripped Adam Conley’s first pitch — and only pitch — far over the wall in right. Conley, a left-handed reliever, had come on to face the left-handed swinging Baker with the Sooners leading 3-2.

The color difference between crimson and cardinal (Arkansas’ tone) was not at all apparent in the stands at Mitchell Park.

Still, the Razorbacks made their presence be known, rising often to call the hogs.

And there was plenty to "Woooooo. Pig. Sooie!” about.

The Hogs fans didn’t stop there, either. They also offered chants of "SEC, SEC.”

"Our fans were incredible,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "Our players were fired up in the dugout when they heard our fans early in the game. It was unbelievable.”

Arkansas first baseman Andy Wilkins, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, finished 5-for-5 at the plate Sunday night and nearly hit for the cycle.

Wilkins ripped two homers and drove in five runs, but was intent on adding the triple he needed for the cycle in the eighth inning, when he drove the ball to the right-center field gap.

He nearly made it, just getting thrown out at third.

"I wanted it real bad,” Wilkins said.