Sooners rally, power past Chanticleers

Jonathan Gray and the Sooners overcame an early 3-0 deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 7-3 Friday afternoon and advance to Saturday's winner bracket game against the Virginia Tech-Connecticut winner.

Gray surrendered three runs in the first two innings, courtesy of a couple errors and some timely Chanticleer hitting, but he settled down from there.

The potential No. 1 draft pick fanned 11 and polished off the final seven innings scoreless en route to throwing his third complete game of the season.

This time he threw a season-high 134 pitches, eclipsing his previous mark of 121.

But his command never faltered, nor did his velocity, as he hummed the game-ending strikeout, final offering in at 98 miles per hour.

Gray's offense backed him, too, after his early struggles.

OU plated a pair each in the fourth and fifth, including designated hitter Colt Bickerstaff and third baseman Garrett Carey's RBI doubles and groundouts, respectively, to cut the deficit to 3-2, then a two-run single off the bat of first baseman Matt Oberste to put OU on top.

The Sooners scored for the third straight inning when center fielder Max White recorded one of his two RBI in a four-hit performance with his single to left in the sixth.

They delivered the knockout punch in the eighth with a pair of insurance runs, White picking up the first on an RBI double and then later scoring on a two-out, double steal.

OU pounded out 12 hits to Coastal's nine, and both teams committed multiple errors, Chanticleers giving away three freebie base-runners.

A victory here puts OU in the position it wants to be in: needing one tomorrow for a berth in the regional championship game.

And southpaw Dillon Overton is slated to give OU yet another power arm on the hill to get that done.

They'll find out momentarily their next opponent.

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