Oklahoma Sooners oust Texas A&M Aggies to advance to Men’s College World Series final
OMAHA, Neb. – David Sandlin held Texas A&M to one run and hit a career-high 12 over seven innings, Jimmy Crooks’ three-run homer in the first held and Oklahoma advanced to the Men’s Finals College World Series with a 5-1 win on Wednesday.
Attempting to complete a softball-baseball title sweep, the Sooners (45-22) have won three straight games at Charles Schwab Field by no less than four points and will play for their first national championship since 1994.
Their opponent in the best-of-three final starting Saturday will be either Arkansas or Mississippi. Those two teams were scheduled to meet Wednesday night, with Ole Miss needing one win to advance and Arkansas needing two.
Texas A&M (44-20) finished 2-2 in the MCWS under freshman coach Jim Schlossnagle after going 29-27, winning just nine Southeastern Conference games and not even qualifying not for the league tournament in 2021.
The Sooners didn’t look like an NCAA tournament team after losing two of their first three Big 12 series and starting 18-12. They have won 27 of 37, including 12 of 14 since the end of the regular season.
Sandlin (9-4), who allowed five hits and walked one on his 100-pitch outing, effectively worked the outside half of the plate with a sharp slider and high fastball.
He retired the first three batters he faced, five of the first eight and 10 of the first 20. He ran into trouble in the fourth inning when the first two batters reached base. He then fanned Troy Claunch, Brett Minnich and Jordan Thompson on 12 pitches.
Texas A&M starter Ryan Prager (1-4) allowed four runs, three of which were earned, in 2⅓ innings. Jacob Palisch went the rest of the way, allowing three hits and a run and striking out eight.
The Aggies, who lost 13-8 to OU in their MCWS opener on Friday, beat Texas and Notre Dame to reach the bracket final. But they couldn’t score against Sandlin until Dylan Rock hit the left cross in the lead in the sixth.
Sandlin then retired the last six batters he faced and gave the play to closer Trevin Michael to start the eighth.
The Sooners led 3-0 in Crooks’ fourth-home run first of the NCAA Tournament, and ninth of the season, and added single runs in the third and fifth. OU didn’t hang around in his MCWS games.