University of Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway saw enough Tuesday night to leave Fayetteville extremely impressed.
Although he was disappointed his team lost 8-7 in 10 innings on a bases-loaded walk before 8,212 fans at Baum Stadium, he lauded the University of Arkansas program and Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn.
"It was a heck of a college baseball game and we really appreciate Coach Van Horn allowing us to come in here and play," Golloway said. "It's a game that we really want to continue. It is a rivalry we really would like to build with them. They have a great program and great fan support.
"They have got a lot of things going for them and Dave's worked hard to get that," Golloway added. "For us to be able to come in and compete against them – it's a tough loss, no doubt about it, but they had to do some things to win. You have got to tip your cap."
Brett Eibner hit two home runs and drew the game-winning walk for Arkansas (30-11) on the 12th pitch he saw during that at-bat.
It was the first game in the series between the two schools since Van Horn arrived at Arkansas with another already scheduled for 2010 in Norman.
There were two games scheduled late in the 2003 season, but former OU coach Larry Cochell canceled them and Van Horn refused to schedule the Sooners from that point on.
Golloway took over the Sooners (33-12) in 2005.
"This gives us some great experience in a competitive game and some disappointment that we have got to deal with right now," Golloway said. "But I would schedule it again and I hope Coach Van Horn would allow it again. Again we are appreciative of the University of Arkansas for allowing it to happen and we look forward to them coming to our place. I think it is going to make both programs better."
Golloway said just playing the game was a benefit to his team in a match-up of two programs trying to grab one of the eight national seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
"You benefit because of the environment," Golloway said. "It's a stinking tough environment. They are doing a great job here at Arkansas. I understand why they are where they are at and what they are doing and I understand why we are where we are. We come in here, put our best effort forward and it was just a heck of a college game."
Arkansas – who is 9-3 against ranked teams this season and 4-2 against teams in the top 10 - will host LSU this weekend in a big SEC Western Division showdown.
"They came out on top and now they are going to have to guard about getting too high," Golloway said, "and we are going to have to guard against not getting too low."
Oklahoma, a half-game behind Texas A&M in the Big 12 standings, will host Kansas this weekend.
"Nobody quit and really it just came down to last pitch and things didn't go our way," Golloway said. "…I know you can here in my voice the disappointment. It is what it is, but we have got to wash it."
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