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Charlottesville Regional; Championship Monday Recap

Game One Recap

Appalachian State chased Damien Magnifico after just 2 1/3 and jumped out to a three run lead on the Oklahoma Sooners. But the lead was short lived as the Sooners retaliated with 11 consecutive runs en route to a 14-6 win over the Mountaineers. The win forced a second and final game in the championship round of the Charlottesville Regional.

Rob Marcello held the Sooners in check with a 1-2-3 fourth but he and his teammates could not contain a OU offense that had been virtually non-existent in the regional. The junior southpaw made it through the fifth but walked the leadoff hitter in the sixth and hit Evan Mistich to put two on with no outs. Marcello gave way to Jamie Nunn who promptly surrendered an RBI double to DH Matt Oberste.

That opened the flood gates as the Sooner s added 10 additional runs to move out in front 11-3.

Backed by the outburst, three OU pitcher combined to keep the Mountaineers in check over the final five innings giving up just three runs despite six walks by Steven Bruce and seven additional hits. Bruce claimed the win improving to 2-0 on the season.

Both clubs added three additional runs to their tally for the 14-6 final.

Oberste who got everything rolling was the spark for the Sooners going 4-for-4 while scoring four runs and touching up ASU pitching for four RBI. Cody Reine added six RBI on a 2-for-4 afternoon.

Marcello was tagged with the loss to fall to 6-5.

Championship Game

Following their regional opening loss to Appalachian State (41-18), Oklahoma (42-23) skipper Sunny Golloway made a statement that some may have preserved cocky but tonight was simply prophetic.

“Instead of just winning two to move on, we have to win two each day, and we are fit to do that,” said Golloway. “I wouldn’t be surprised – matter of fact I would be a little shocked if we aren’t playing for it in the end. No disrespect to anybody else but that is just how we are built.”

None taken coach.

Oklahoma plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning and that was all the Sooners would need as they won their fourth consecutive elimination game and made their head coach look like Nostradamus.

“It was a very, very difficult season,” as Golloway took a reflective look back through the season. “There were moments during this season where we were hoping this season would probably hurry up and end. We knew once we defeated Baylor and assured ourselves of a winning record and potentially an NCAA at-large bid that we were on to something special. We just jumped from a team that was from the outside of the bubble to a team that was a team to be reckoned with.”

Regional MVP Matt Oberste continued his torrid pace going 2-for-4, scoring a run and adding an RBI. Oberste ended the day 6-for-8 from the plate with five RBI.

Drew Harrison was equally impressive in his sixth appearance and second start. Harrison limited the Mountaineers to two runs on three hits over six complete. Saturday starter Jordan John bridged the gap in the 7th and 8th and Steve Okert erased the only three batters he faced to record his fifth save.

“We see [Harrison] in his bullpens and he threw earlier even though he didn’t have many innings,” said Golloway. “He threw earlier in the year and his numbers are strong and I think if you see our pitching staff and the talent we have in that group, he’s not going to get a lot of innings because of the guys in front of him. We are going to lose some arms and Big Drew is going to be a guy that is going to come back and move to the front of the bus and absorb a bunch of innings. That is a power arm. The best thing about him is his power slider. It’s 80-plus.”

Harrison certainly made a believer in ASU coach Chris Pollard.

“I am blown away, just the depth of their arms,” said Pollard. “[Harrison] is 6’4”, 230 pounds. Early on he was 92 or 93 [on the gun], with an 84 mile-per-hour slider. That guy looked like a top-ten rounder and he has nine innings pitched. That shows how deep their staff is. If we had that guy on our team, we are running him out there on weekends, every weekend.”

Cinderella ASU got things started in the first when Will Callaway walked and scored on Daniel Kassouf RBI double. Callaway and Kassouf combined again in the sixth for the Mountaineers only other run off a lead-off triple and a Kassouf sacrifice fly.

But the slipper didn’t fit and the Sooners quickly closed down the ball.

OSU’s three-run outburst started with Caleb Bushyhead and Evan Mistich drawing back-to-back one out walks. Oberste singled for his fifth RBI of the day scoring Bushyhead. Jack Mayfield whose triple was the big blast against Virginia Sunday night connected on Jeffrey Springs 1-2 offering for a 2-RBI double giving his club a three –run cushion. Mayfield added his third RBI of the game in the third inning with a bases loaded sacrifice fly into left field.

After collecting only 11 hits through its first three games of the regional, the Sooners went on a barrage Monday, collecting 13 against Appalachian State in the first game Monday night and then 10 in the regional final. Bushyhead said his team was due after a rough time at the plate in the first three games.

“We’ve struggled this whole regional and you can pull out the stats and they’re nothing short of awful. But I think today we really showed what we’re capable of doing and that is coming out and banging the baseball around and making moves in the base path. Small ball, long ball, all sorts of stuff, things really went our way. Hopefully that momentum carries over into Columbia this weekend and our sticks will be hot there as well.”

Springs (2-1) suffered the loss in only his fifth career start.

The Sooners added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin.

Oklahoma moves on to face the reigning NCAA baseball champion South Carolina Gamecocks in the Columbia Super Regional next weekend. Golloway was again confident in his club and its chances in Columbia.

“We’re looking forward to going to South Carolina and seeing Coach {Ray] Tanner and the great job that they’re doing and the magnificent facility that they have and we’re going to see if we can’t put a button on that streak because it’s gone a long time—we were the last team to beat them in NCAA play at the College World Series.”

CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
C – Nate Irving (Virginia)
1B – Trey Holmes (Appalachian State)
2B – Jack Mayfield (Oklahoma)
3B – Stephen Bruno (Virginia)
SS – Caleb Bushyhead (Oklahoma)
OF – Brandon Burris (Appalachian State)
OF – Cody Reine (Oklahoma)
OF – Preston Troutman (Appalachian State)
DH – Matt Oberste (Oklahoma)
P – Ryan Arrowood (Appalachian State)
P – Dillon Overton (Oklahoma)
Most Outstanding Player – Matt Oberste (Oklahoma)

  • Dwon177

    Not one Army player on the All tourney team? That’s crap. Didn’t their catcher throw out like 5 base stealers in 2 games?!?