Sooners one win away from Regional title

Chuckie Caufield (pictured) and Oklahoma avoided elimination yet again with a 12-7 win over Wichita State Sunday night. The Sooners and Shockers will meet again at 7 p.m. Monday in Norman for a trip to the Super Regional. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

The game capped a day where the Sooners' bats came alive belting 27 hits, five home runs and scoring 27 runs in two games.

"I'm extremely proud of these guys and their teammates," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. Two days ago a gut wrenching loss was a tough night for all of us. It was the toughest night I have ever had in 15 years of Division I coaching. The way we have been able to overcome that first game is just battle. I couldn't be more proud of a group of athletes. It's a very special thing."

Wichita State scored two runs in the first and one in the the top of the third to take an early 3-0 lead, but the Sooners bounced back with two in the bottom of the third, three in the fourth and one in the fifth to lead 6-3.

The Shockers would tie the game with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, but Oklahoma responded with a four-run seventh and two in the eighth to brake open the game.

P.J. Sandoval got the start and was pulled early after one inning after giving up two early runs. John Brownell replaced Sandoval and was outstanding in relief going the final eight innings while throwing 130 pitches in the longest outing of his career. He gave up four earned runs, but kept the Shockers at arms length while also recording seven strikeouts.

"John Brownell took the baseball today and really pitched his heart out," Golloway said on Bronwell, who improved to 5-0. "He is very unselfish and has done whatever we have asked him to do for this program. When guys see that finish line they sometimes try to rush to it and he didn't do that."

At the plate, the Sooners were led by Ryan Rohlinger's 4-for-5 performance, including his 12th home run this season. Rohlinger is now batting .579 (11-for-19) with two homers and 10 RBI in the four games in the the Norman Regional

Centerfielder Joseph Hughes added three RBI, including a clutch double in the seventh that scored two. Kody Kaiser also recorded two RBI.

"OU played well and did a lot of great things tonight and this afternoon," said Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson. "We didn't play very good defense and didn't pitch very well. I'm just thankful we have another chance tomorrow."

"I hope we can limit their runs tomorrow. Today was their day. We just need to play well and play better defense. It is tough to come back, but we can do it."

The Sooners (43-20) and Shockers (46-21) will play again tonight at 7 p.m. tonight for a spot in next weekend's Super Regional.

Note: Oklahoma's 43 wins are the most since the national championship season in 1994 when they won 50 games.

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