OU baseball: Sooners beat Army and Virginia, advance to regional championship game
Oklahoma must beat Appalachian State twice on Monday to move on to Super Regional in South Carolina.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Throughout the regular season, the Sooners waited until the pressure was on to deliver. Nothing has changed in the regional round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
OU needed 10 innings to defeat Army 2-1 in Sunday's first game, then it took down host Virginia 5-4 in a second elimination game Sunday night to stay alive.
The Sooners face Appalachian State at 3 p.m. Monday. If OU wins, it will play the Mountaineers again after the first game to advance to a Super Regional next weekend at South Carolina.
After Oklahoma took the lead, mental lapses allowed both opponents to put a tying run on second base in the final inning. That did not sit well with OU coach Sunny Golloway, who lit into his team on the field after defeating Virginia.
“I made it very clear that if we don't show up (Monday) and play defense, it's going to be very, very short,” he said. “They got a pretty good tail-chewing out there.”
Damien Magnifico (3-1, 3.86) will start the first game for the Sooners against Appalachian State, looking to build on a weekend of untouchable starting pitching that made up for a lack of offense.
The bats, silent all tournament, finally woke up in the 10th inning against Army, when OU was on the verge of being sent home. OU has almost as many errors (8) as it does hits (11) in the regional.
“We've gotten pretty lucky to be where we're at right now,” OU second baseman Jack Mayfield said. “We know we have a good defense – we've showed it before.”
So far, the pitching has been good enough to overcome the other flaws. Sophomore Jonathan Gray was up first Sunday against Army, delivering seven strong innings and picking up some key defensive help from Cody Reine, who gunned down a runner at the plate in the third inning to keep the game scoreless.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 24265Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15789Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10553Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9606Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 9126Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 8599Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 8494Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena