Golloway proud of OU's season despite loss

Oklahoma led 4-3 going into the bottom of the sixth, but a five-run outburst by the Owls in the inning proved to be too much to overcome. Oklahoma's 45 wins this season tied for the 6th most in school history, and were the most since the national championship season in 1994. See inside for Golloway's postgame quotes. (Photo/Lisa Hall)

Houston — Sunny Golloway's Oklahoma baseball team was 11 outs away from a trip to the College World Series, but in the end holding off top-ranked Rice was just too much for the Sooners' pitching staff to overcome.

OU led 4-3 heading into the botttom of the sixth, but reliever John Brownell got into trouble and was replaced by Will Savage, who gave up a two-run single and a three-run homer run in a five-run inning that gave the Owls an 8-4 lead.

Joseph Hughes and Chuckie Caufield reached base to begin the seventh, but only Hughes came around to score what would be OU's last run of the season.

OU assistant coach Andrew McGuire and Golloway were ejected earlier in the inning for arguing with the umpries.

Brownell, who replaced Sooner starter Ryan Mottern with two outs in the first inning, took the loss and fell to 5-1 on the season. However, he got the Sooners out of a first inning jam and pitched well until the sixth when he ran out of gas and was replaced by Savage, who gave up four runs in 1.2 innings.

The loss ended Oklahoma's season, which was an impressive one for Golloway, who in his first season led the Sooners to the most wins (45) since the National Championship team in 1994 won 50 games.

OU-Rice Box Score

Below are head baseball coach Sunny Golloway's postgame quotes following OU's season-ending 9-5 loss to Rice Monday in Houston.

Opening Statement

"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Rice. Coach Graham does a great job, he has some great athletes. Needless to say, on the yard they performed at a very high level today. They are a very worthy champion. I know they are going to represent extremely well in the College World Series.

"Also, I'm very proud of our student-athletes and the way that we competed. We had a lot of tough things that we had to overcome today, but we stayed in it until the end and fought.

"Hopefully, it will be a situation where our program will be able to grow and improve from what our current seniors and the rest of these student-athletes have done from representing the University of Oklahoma this year.

On the decision to pull Brownell in the sixth inning

"It was very tough. We had already made a couple of trips to the mound with John. He was extremely frustrated also.

"He was competing really well, it's hot out there and there were a lot of variables out there that we don't want to get into. So I felt it would be better to get him out of there.

"We would've liked to have been able to hold him back. The plan was to go Mottern (as the starter) and get three or four (innings) and then go to Brownell, and then even have a chance to finish with Brownell. That didn't workout and we had to go to him awful quick."

On how tough was it to hold down Rice's offense

"It was tough. We scored two (runs in the first inning), which was what we wanted to do. We wanted to draw first, we did. We walked a guy before the talented Rodriguez, then he hits the ball the other way. I don't think there's anyone in here when he it hit it that thought it wasn't a foul ball, then it ended up being a two-run homer. I think that kinda shocked people.

"We still had the lead on three different ocassions in this ball game, and I liked our chances. Our guys were competing really hard. There were just some things that you cannot overcome that I'm not going to comment on."

On why he was ejected

"I went out and asked, 'Why did one of my assistants get thrown out?' Needless to say, every trip to the mound we had, we had some very upset athletes. We were calming down.

"Then, in the dugout, we had some very upset people and I was doing everything in my power to try to keep us calm. When coach Mcguire got thrown out, I got out and first told him to go to the dugout because he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

"But I wanted to ask the head crew chief why was he ejected. Then he explained it to me from a distance, so I wasn't allowed to talk. At that point, I went back to the dugout and somebody else came to me and said you're ejected for kicking dirt on home plate. I said, "Who threw me?" And I asked for an explanation.

"I don't think I'm crossing the line just explaining that I was never told. I never saw myself be ejected, and I was never told who ejected me. They refused to answer that question, so I am not going to comment on what job they did. I want to make that very clear. That's against the rules.

"I only went to ask who ejected me from the game, and I still have not been explained to that at this point. When I was told you're not going to stay, they wouldn't say who ejected me, and the head umpire was the one I wanted to visit with very adamently afterwards."

On the season as a whole

I'm proud of our student-athletes. We had a lot of firsts: We had 39 wins in our regular season, and that's the most since 1989; first time to host a regional at L. Dale Mitchell, first time to win a game in a Super Regional; and one game away from Omaha.

"And then, just the things behind the scenes with just a bunch of terrific student-athles that I love. Our coaching staff, we tell them we love them and that we are going to be there for the rest of their lives for them. No matter what they need, we are going to be there for them.

"That is probably the best thing of all, the relationships that we get to enjoy with them."

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