Oklahoma Becomes First To Oust SEC Team From World Series With 5-1 Win Over Aggies

Oklahoma became the first non-Southeastern Conference baseball team to eliminate an SEC team from the College World Series on Wednesday afternoon with a 5-1 win over Texas A&M in front of 23,827 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska.

Auburn was eliminated by fellow SEC West member Arkansas, 11-1, on Tuesday.

Arkansas (45-20) and Ole Miss (39-22) of the SEC West started playing at 7 p.m. eastern Wednesday on ESPN. If Ole Miss wins, it advances to the CWS best-of-three championship series against Oklahoma beginning Saturday. Arkansas must beat Ole Miss on Wednesday and Thursday to reach the title series.

Oklahoma (45-22) is 3-0 at the CWS as is Ole Miss. Texas A&M, which won the SEC West this season, finishes at 44-20.

“They will forever be remembered as, hopefully, the team that reignited Texas A&M baseball,” first-year A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. The Aggies were 29-27 overall and 9-21 in the SEC for last in the West last season. It was their second below .500 SEC record in three seasons. A&M won the West for the first time in its history this season with a 19-11 mark behind Schlossnagle, who left TCU to come to College Station.

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“It’s our job now to honor what they’ve started and continue to build on it,” Schlossnagle said. “There will come a day where we look back on this as awesome and a great step for our program, but right now everybody wearing an A&M uniform expected to win and keep playing. So, we’re disappointed, but Oklahoma just simply outplayed us.”

The championship series starts at 7 p.m. eastern time Saturday with a 2 p.m. game on Sunday. A third game – if necessary – will be at 7 p.m. Monday.

Oklahoma will be playing for its first national championship in baseball since 1994. It won its only other baseball national crown in 1951. The Sooners are in their first World Series since 2010.

“We have to keep telling our guys, ‘Hey, finish. Keep working at it. Keep dreaming,'” Oklahoma coach Skip Johnson said.

Oklahoma established their dominance early on Wednesday by taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a three-run home run by Jimmy Crooks, who also hit a three-run home run on Friday in Oklahoma’s CWS opening, 13-8 win over Texas A&M.

Oklahoma starter David Sandlin struck out nine of the first 12 batters he faced and finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts through seven innings for the win to go to 9-4. He allowed five hits and one run with one walk through seven innings.

“It still feels kind of surreal,” Sandlin said of being two wins away from a national championship. “We’ll feel it come Saturday. We’ll be ready for Saturday.”

The Sooners took a 4-0 lead in the third inning when Peyton Graham doubled and scored on an RBI ground out by Blake Roberston. Oklahoma made it 5-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Tanner Tredaway.

Ryan Prager took the loss for the Aggies. He allowed four hits and four runs in two and a third innings.

“We’ve hit that lucky button enough times this season,” A&M catchers Troy Claunch said, referencing the Aggies’ large number of come-from-behind wins. “And today, it ran out on us. But it was just one heck of a run.”

Oklahoma’s continues.

“I think we’re going to just stay calm,” Sandlin said. “Stay relaxed and just play our game.”

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

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