OMAHA, Neb. – Oklahoma's Sunny Golloway predicted a week ago that he wouldn't want to see South Carolina's Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate with a game on the line.
Still wouldn't, although the real life experience – and the result – Thursday night is a vision that might long linger. After the Sooners took the lead in the top of the 12th inning, Bradley Jr. delivered a two-out, run-scoring single, tied the score. That extended the inning before the Gamecocks' Brady Thomas won it, singling home Bradley Jr. for a 3-2 elimination-game thriller in the College World Series. OU's season ends at 50-18, although with the program's first CWS appearance in 15 years. "I kept telling the guys, 'Enjoy the journey,'” Golloway said. "We wanted the journey to continue, that's what stings. And the road to Omaha, that was complete. "You can't pull the rug out from under any of the teams that make it here. They made it here.” Bradley Jr. pulled the rug out on what seemed like a sure Sooner win. OU seemed destined to stick around at least another day, when sophomore catcher Tyler Ogle pounded a home run just over the wall in right-center to lead off the 12th. The Sooners had closer Ryan Duke ready. And the Sooners were 40-0 in games they led after seven innings. The flurry of offensive action in the 12th came after pitchers from both sides dominated the first 11 innings. Zach Neal started and went seven strong innings for OU, before Jeremy Erben followed with four shutout innings. Blake Cooper, who started the CWS opener against the Sooners, gave the Gamecocks a solid 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run, before three relievers combined to get through the 11th. OU was held hitless from the seventh inning on, before Ogle's big blow sent the Sooners ahead. "We hadn't really put any runs together the whole game,” Ogle said.