June 20, 2010

College World Series Schedule and Game Stories

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Oklahoma edges South Carolina on Marathon Sunday

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – Father’s Day was disrupted by Mother Nature.


After enduring more than six hours of weather delays, Oklahoma nipped South Carolina 4-3 Sunday in Game 3 of the 2010 College World Series in front of 22,835 soggy fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Sooners (50-16) will face the winner of the Arizona State-Clemson game on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. CT. The Gamecocks (48-16) will meet the loser on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination contest.


“It was not an easy day,” said Sooner head coach Sonny Golloway (left). “But when you draw upon how great it is to be here and how hard you have to work to get here, surely you’re not going to let a little rain dampen your day.”


The start of the game was delayed by four hours and 15 minutes due to lightning and rain.


Chris Ellison of OU had a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, was sacrificed to second and scored on a two-out single by Tyler Ogle as the Sooners took a 1-0 lead.


Christian Walker belted a leadoff homer to left in the top of the second, his eighth, as the Gamecocks evened the score at 1.


Oklahoma reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the second as Caleb Bushyhead went deep for the sixth time to give the Sooners a 2-1 advantage.


Home run derby continued in the top of the fourth as Jackie Bradley Jr. crushed a ball to right for his 12th homer, tying the game at 2.


“I saw a changeup,” Bradley said of his home run. “He was down in the count 2-0, and I was looking to be aggressive.”


The Sooners answered again in the bottom of the frame as Cody Reine had a leadoff single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a base hit by Bushyhead to give OU a 3-2 edge.


The game was halted in the middle of the sixth due lightning strikes and rain in the area.


Neither starter returned after the 2:01 second delay. Michael Rocha (8-2) allowed five hits and two runs in six innings for the Sooners with three walks and two strikeouts in earning the victory.


Blake Cooper (12-2) worked five innings for the Gamecocks with six hits, three runs, one walk and five strikeouts.


South Carolina had chances to score in each of the final three innings. Brady Thomas had a leadoff single in the seventh against OU reliever Jeremy Erben and was sacrificed to second. Erben was able to get a pair of strikeouts to keep the Sooners on top.


The Gamecocks loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth before Thomas lined out to right to end the threat.


Garrett Buechele, son of former major leaguer Steve Buechele, gave the Sooners an important insurance run with a monster blast deep into the left field bleachers leading off the eighth as OU took a 4-2 lead to the ninth. It was his 17th long ball of the season.


“I honestly was just trying to hit a ball to right field,” Buechele said, “get on base for our team and try to get an inning going. He left the pitch up and I put a good swing on it and hit it out of the ballpark.”


South Carolina did not go quietly in the ninth. Kyle Enders and pinch-hitter Robert Beary had back-to-back singles to start the frame, chasing Erben and bringing on closer Ryan Duke. Following a strikeout, Duke walked Evan Marzilli to load the bases. Whit Merrifield fouled out to third before Bradley drew a four-pitch walk to force in Enders and make it a one-run contest at 4-3. Duke got Adrian Morales to fly out to shallow center to earn his 12th save.


“I realize it’s been a long day at the yard,” said Gamecock head coach Ray Tanner, “but despite the length and the conditions, it turned out to be a really good college baseball game.”


The Gamecocks stranded 10, including seven over the final three frames.


“We did a nice job of battling,” Tanner said, “but we did not get the big hit to get us where we needed to be.”


Bushyhead finished with two hits and two RBI for the Sooners.


Bradley had two hits and two RBI for South Carolina.


The Arizona State-Clemson game, which was scheduled to be played Sunday evening, has been moved to Monday morning at 10 a.m.


(photo courtesy of OU Media Relations Office)