COLUMBIA, S.C. — Once again, Oklahoma is on the brink of elimination.Sunday will tell if the Sooners can repeat history and bring themselves back from the abyss.
Seventh-ranked South Carolina beat Oklahoma 5-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the NCAA Columbia Super Regional, leaving the Sooners one loss from ending their season and, as they were before the game, still two wins from the College World Series.
The two teams will play again at 6 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU. With a win, the Gamecocks (44-17) will advance to their third straight CWS and have a chance to add a third title to their back-to-back national championships.
Oklahoma is again facing an uphill climb. But that’s nothing new.
“Our backs have been against the wall all year,” shortstop Caleb Bushyhead said. “I don’t see why this is any different.”
The Sooners had to win four games in two days at the Charlottesville Regional just to get to the Super Regional, and did so. OU doesn’t have to worry about saving pitchers or playing for the next day, because as it was last week, there is no tomorrow.
“We’ll battle,” coach Sunny Golloway said. “We’ll give it everything we’ve got.”
OU starter Jordan John (8-8) got into immediate trouble, walking Adam Matthews to start the second inning. Erik Payne singled to get Matthews to third, and LB Dantzler doubled to start a three-run outburst.
A wild pitch scored Payne, and Chase Vergason’s sacrifice fly plated Dantzler for a quick 3-0 lead. Golloway, seeking to control the damage, lifted John and had potential Game 3 starter Dillon Overton relieve to start the third inning.