Oklahoma falls to South Carolina 5-1 in super regional
BY RUDY JONES World Correspondent
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway wasn't hanging his head after the Sooners were eliminated from the Columbia Super Regional on Monday.
"We lost 25 games and we got to go toe-to-toe in a super regional with a team that's won back-to-back national championships and has just unbelievable, tremendous environment," Golloway said.
OU lost 5-1 to two-time defending national champion South Carolina on Monday afternoon as 8,242 watched at Carolina Stadium.
"To lose 25 games and still be playing today ... it's hard to lose that many games and get this far," Golloway said. "You have to win some key games; you have to play well with your backs to the wall, and our guys did that."
The Sooners lost the first two games in the best-of-three series largely because they couldn't solve South Carolina's pitching staff. OU hit .152 (9-for-59) in the two games, including being shut out on three hits in the super regional opener Saturday night.
The teams had played 5 1/2 scoreless innings on Sunday before the second game was suspended until Monday because of rain.
The Sooners (42-25), the designated home team, missed a golden opportunity to score when the game resumed in the sixth.
Caleb Bushyhead reached on a one-out error and South Carolina relief pitcher Tyler Webb (6-1) then walked two Sooner batters to load the bases with two outs.
With a 2-2 count, Cody Reine fouled off five pitches before flying out to right field to end the inning.
"I thought at the beginning they were a little bit unraveled on the mound as far as missing a little bit," Golloway said. "But they found the (strike) zone when they had to."
South Carolina scored twice in the seventh and three more times in the eighth.
In South Carolina's seventh inning, a double and a throwing error on a bunt scored the first run, and a wild pitch made it 2-0.
The Sooners scored their only run of the super regional in the bottom of the seventh.
Jack Mayfield and Garrett Carey drew walks, and the Gamecocks summoned closer Matt Price.
Evan Mistich failed to connect on a hit-and-run and Mayfield was thrown out at third base. Mistich then singled to drive in Carey.
Pinch-hitter Chase Simpson struck out and Bushyhead flied out to end the inning.
"Had we scored earlier in either game, it's going to be much different," Golloway said. "But we didn't. We're a team that's going to take risks, as you saw (on the hit-and-run)."
South Carolina has won 21 consecutive NCAA Tournament games since a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma in the first round of the 2010 College World Series.
Original Print Headline: Sooners' impressive run in playoffs ends
Columbia Super Regional
Game 2: South Carolina 5, OU 1
South Carolina wins series 2-0, advances to the College World Series
South Carolina's T.J. Costen (left) scores after OU made an error on a bunt in the seventh inning of a super regional game Monday in Columbia, S.C. MARY ANN CHASTAIN / Associated Press