Super Comeback: Sooners win regional title

Chuckie Caufield (pictured above) celebrates with his teammates after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning. Oklahoma scored six runs in the second and one in the top of the ninth to hang on for a 7-6 victory. The win advances OU to next weekend's Super Regional round in Houston against second-ranked Rice.

What a difference two days makes. On Friday, OU senior starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen led the Sooners into the ninth inning with a lead only to see it vanish and the Sooners fall to the losers bracket.

Now fast forward to Monday. After three wins, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, McCutchen once again led the Sooners into the ninth with a lead, but this time they held on for a 7-6 win in the Norman Regional championship game against Wichita State and earn a bid in next weekend's Super Regional.

Oklahoma jumped on the Shockers with six runs in the top of the second, thanks in part to a two-RBI double by Joseph Hughes and a three-run blast by Chuckie Caufield.

Wichita State bounced back with two in the third to cut the lead to 6-2. OU starter Brad Burns was replaced with one out in the fourth inning by McCutchen, who gave up two more in the sixth.

Russell Raley's RBI single in the top of the eighth pushed the lead to 7-4 and McCutchen, who was pitching on just two days rest after throwing 8.2 innings against TCU on Friday, quickly retired the Shockers in order in the bottom of the eighth.

But just like last Friday against TCU, things got dicey for McCutchen and the Sooners in the ninth. The Norman native walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up a two-run homer to Noah Krol that cut the lead to 7-6.

McCutchen retired the next batter for the first out and then gave up a single to Josh Workman. He then struck out the next hitter for the second out, but Shocker Conor Gillaspie singled advancing Workman to third.

The pressure was officially on with the tying run at third and potential winning run at first. However, McCutchen would get a ground ball and force out to end the game and cap OU's four-game run through the losers bracket.

Oklahoma (44-20) will now meet Rice (53-10), the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, in the Super Regional next weekend in Houston. The two teams will play a best-of-three series for a berth in the College World Series.

It will also be the first time Oklahoma has advanced to the Super Regional since it was added to the current NCAA Tournament format in 1999. Only 16 teams advance to the Super Regional, which will be held at eight different college sites with the winners of each series advancing to Omaha.

In all, seven Sooners earned All-Region honors (Caufield, Raley, Hughes, Ryan Rohlinger, Kevin Smith, Aaron Reza and Steven Guerra). Rohlinger, the Sooners' senior third baseman, was named the Tournament MVP.

OU-Wichita State Box Score
OU-Wichita State Quotes
Regional Notes
NCAA Bracket

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