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OU baseball: Oklahoma has a tall — but doable — task in Super Regional at LSU

The Tigers might have one of their best teams in program history, but one Big 12 coach said the Sooners “can go down there and win.”
by John Helsley Published: June 6, 2013

Oklahoma arrives in Baton Rouge as a decided underdog.

The No. 14 Sooners at No. 1 LSU.

On the road, where the Tigers have gone 37-4 this season, and 84-18 at home overall in the NCAA Tournament.

Into Alex Box Stadium-Skip Bertman Field, where SRO crowds of 10,000-plus fuel the home team and put fear in opponents.

Still, count out the Sooners at your own risk.

Because for all of LSU's grand tradition and history — and it's overflowing — the Sooners' recent track record reveals something special, too.

OU stands as one of just 14 programs (LSU isn't one of them) to reach the NCAA Tournament each of the past six seasons. The Sooners are 17-12 during that span, with three Super Regional appearances and a trip to the College World Series.

Seniors Max White and Jack Mayfield, key components who played for OU in Omaha in 2010, have totaled 176 career wins, tying for the most in program history. And perhaps most important, the Sooners are well-armed to pull an upset, with the pitching tandem of Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton representing just the right recipe for a successful run through the bayou.

“It'll definitely be a good challenge for them,” said one Big 12 coach, “but I don't think it's out of the question that they can win, either, because I do think their pitching is that good.

“On paper, they're not going to be the favorite in that series. But they can go down there and win.”

The Sooners went into Virginia Tech last weekend, also as an underdog and the No. 2 seed — and won. They won the Charlottesville Regional last year, and also won there in the Super Regional in 2010, knocking off No. 1 Virginia to advance to the College World Series.

So there's some history of coming through unexpectedly on the road.

“When we went to Omaha, we had to win at Virginia, had to take two of three from those guys,” said Mayfield. “They hadn't lost two games in a row all year. That was a big test going in, but we held our heads high and it's kind of the same thing here.

“It's a big task, but we're playing good ball right now and we're riding on that momentum.”

Mayfield and White are the latest to carry the baton in a run that has elevated OU's status nationally. The Sooners have posted five straight 40-win seasons, with this senior class the third straight to reach 170 career wins.

Continue reading this story on the...

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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