Tempe Regional – Game 5 Recap

Celebration

Oklahoma 11 – Vanderbilt 10

From CBB News Sources

(Tempe, AZ) – Sophomore Aaron Baker sent his third home run, a two-run shot, of the 2008 Tempe Regional to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday and gave OU an 11-10 victory over No. 22 Vanderbilt at Packard Stadium.

The win improved the Sooners’ overall mark to 36-25-1 and will place them in the championship game (Sunday at 6 p.m. MST) against No. 4 Arizona State, where OU will have to defeat the Sun Devils twice to advance to the super regional round. The loss drops the Commodores to 41-22 overall and ends their season. The Sooners have appeared in the championship game of an NCAA Regional in each of their last three appearances (2005-Oxford, 2006-Norman).

“This club has showed the ability to comeback throughout the whole season and I couldn’t be more proud of them today,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway.  “These student-athletes have overcome so much adversity, especially at the end of the season, and showed tremendous character.  And you have to tip your cap to Vanderbilit for playing what was a great postseason baseball game.”

OU took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the seventh with four runs scored in the frame, but were unable to hold on as Vanderbilt scored twice in the top of the ninth off Michael Rocha (4-3), who was solid in relief before surrendering the final two runs. But Oklahoma came back to rally for the 18th time this season and the 64th with Sunny Golloway at the helm in the bottom of the ninth with Baker’s walk-off homer off Russell Brewer (4-3).

“I was just trying to extend the inning further for us and wait on a pitch to drive,” said sophomore Aaron Baker.  “I got a pitch to hit and I thought it was a line drive that was going to hit off the wall, but it ended up clearing the fence.”

The Sooners got off to a good start as Chase Anderson worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first and the offense took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame. With two outs on the board, Casey Johnson extended his hitting streak to seven games after he sliced a double down the left-field line to bring home Aljay Davis from second base after he was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a balk by Vanderbilt starter Nick Christiani.

Anderson faced the minimum in the second inning and received the benefit of an OU double play, but the Commodores made short work of the hurler in the third frame. Vanderbilt batted around the lineup and scored six runs off seven hits, including three extra-base hits. Anderson’s start, his first since March 18, ended after 2 2/3 innings and Ryan Mottern recorded the final out of the third inning.

Trailing 6-1, Matt Harughty began the Sooners’ third inning with a single and later advanced into scoring position but was unable to come around to score as Christiani retired the remainder of the side in order.

Oklahoma finally capitalized in the fifth inning as the first two batters, Jarod Freeman and Bryant Hernandez, reached on walks issued by Christiani and scored on a groundout by Harughty and single to right off Jamie Johnson’s bat. After Davis recorded the second out, OU continued to rally with Mike Gosse’s single through the right side to place runners on first and second. That brought up Casey Johnson who delivered a double over the head of centerfielder David Macias to cut the lead to one, 6-5.

Arizona State battled right back in the top of the sixth and extended the lead to two runs off Mottern before the Sooners’ third reliever, Michael Rocha, was able to keep the Sun Devils at bay with the third double play of the day turned by OU.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Sooners made their move and regained the lead for the first time since the first inning. OU sent all nine hitters to the plate in the frame and Matt Harughty began the rally after Mark Lamm hit him with a pitch. Three straight singles followed, including Davis’ base knock to left field that extended his hitting streak to 16 games and plated Harughty to bring the score within two runs. With the bases loaded, the second pitcher of the inning, Richie Goodenow, retired Casey Johnson via the strikeout before allowing another RBI single, this time by Aaron Baker to narrow the gap to one run. Goodenow retired J.T. Wise with another strikeout before allowing the go-ahead runs to score on Jarod Freeman’s single through the right side.

Vanderbilt battled back in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs off Rocha on a fielder’s choice hit by Dominic de la Osa and a RBI single by Alex Feinberg.

Game Notes: Aljay Davis has 22 hits during his career-high 16-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 24 of the last 25 games (38 hits) … Aaron Baker’s multi-hit streak continued on Sunday with his seventh straight outing with two or more hits … Baker has 15 hits in the last seven games with nine RBIs … With 12 hits on Sunday, OU has connected for 10 or more hits in each of the last four games and 12 of the last 16 … OU is 68-59 lifetime in the NCAA Tournament in 31 appearances … OU’s double-play streak of nine games ended on Saturday but turned four on Sunday to give them 20 in the last 11 games … The Sooners and Commodores have met on five occasions and OU leads the all-time series 3-2, including a 2-0 mark in the postseason after winning twice in the 2008 Tempe Regional.

(Tempe, AZ) – Aaron Baker’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Oklahoma to a 11-10 win over Vanderbilt in an elimination game Sunday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

 

The Commodores (41-22) season ended with the loss while the Sooners (36-25-1) staved off elimination and will take on No. 1 seed Arizona State Sunday night.

 

“All I can say is the season is over,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin.

Vanderbilt rallied from a 9-8 deficit with two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 10-9 lead.

Russell Brewer (4-3) got Mike Gosse to ground out to short for the first out in the ninth. Casey Johnson then walked on five pitches and Brewer had Aaron Baker down to his last strike before he belted a homer to right-center to win the game.

 

“I really wanted to win for the seniors and feel bad for them,” said first baseman Andrew Giobbi who led the Commodores with three hits on the day and nine in the tourney. “Our season was one of peaks and valleys and unfortunately we came up short.”

 

The Sooners took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first courtesy of Casey Johnson’s RBI double.

The Commodores stormed back for six runs in the third to take the lead. Andrew Giobbi led off with a triple to left and then scored on Shea Robin’s infield single to short. Jonathan White singled to right and advanced to second when the rightfielder threw to third to get Robin out. David Macias grounded to second to score Robin to give VU the lead. Pedro Alvarez doubled to right-center to score White and Dominic de la Osa tripled to right-center to make it 4-1. Alex Feinberg walked and Steven Liddle followed with a RBI single as the Commodores batted around. Giobbi had his second hit of the inning, a RBI single to left, to make it 6-1.

 

OU rallied back with a four-run fifth to cut the lead to 6-5. Matt Harughty’s RBI grounder plated the first run with Jamie Johnson adding a RBI single. Casey Johnson completed the rally with a two-run double to centerfield.

 

The bottom half of the order continued to deliver in the sixth as the No. 7 hitter Giobbi singled to lead off the inning and scored on Robin’s RBI triple into the gap in right-center. No. 9 hitter Jonathan White then singled up the middle on the first pitch from  reliever Michael Rocha to score Robin to make it 8-5.

 

The Commodores 7-8-9 hitters had eight of the team’s 11 hits through six innings of action.

 

The Sooners plated four runs in the seventh to take a 9-8 lead. Mark Lamm hit Matt Harughty and Jamie Johnson singled to start the inning. Aljay Davis hit a RBI single for the first run and Aaron Baker added a RBI single for the second run. Richie Goodenow looked to get out of the inning with the lead intact, but Jarod Freeman’s routine ground ball to second baseman Alex Feinberg took a wild hop over his head to plate the go ahead run.

 

Pedro Alvarez singled to lead off the ninth and then moved to third on Ryan Flaherty’s single to right-center. Dominic de la Osa’s fielder’s choice RBI tied the game at 9-9. He would steal second and score on Alex Feinberg’s RBI single up the middle to give the Dores a 10-9 lead.

 

The loss ended the careers of eight seniors including starters David Macias, Dominic de la Osa, Alex Feinberg, Shea Robin and Jonathan White.

 

The Commodores will head back to Nashville Monday morning.