Three Keys: Inside Why OU Won

The Sooners stole a huge one in the opening round of the College World Series over the South Carolina Gamecocks, and in light of that, Sooners Illustrated provides the three keys to victory.

Three keys to why OU won:

1. Timely hitting and pitching—It never hurts to have this. It started off early when catcher Tyler Ogle plated center fielder Chris Ellison with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first. Another offensive example of clutch hitting came in the eighth inning when the Sooners needed an insurance run and got one in the form of third baseman Garrett Buechele's homer to left field. In the previous frame, pitcher Jeremy Erben worked his way out of a bases loaded jam to keep the bags full of Gamecocks without a run coming across. And in the ninth, despite some trouble, closer Ryan Duke managed to keep the tying run 90 feet away with the bases loaded then as well.

2. Getting the lead early and retaliating to South Carolina's runs—OU scored a run in the second to tie it and a run in the fourth to tie the game then, but there was one common denominator. The Sooners scored in each of the ensuing innings following those run scoring innings for SC. And OU really dictated the tempo of the game when they took the lead 1-0 in the bottom of the first. The Sooners virtually controlled the entire contest, never falling behind.

3. Not being delayed a day—This isn't a key that's mentioned very often. But late in the contest, it appeared South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner was using all of his pitchers to get the weather to move in for yet a third time and let the Gamecocks regroup. Whether or not it's true is just speculation because Tanner said he just liked the matchups he had, but it was certainly suspicious. With that said, the Sooners had all the momentum and truly couldn't have afforded to finish the game a different day.

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