OMAHA, Neb. — The Oklahoma Sooners defeated Texas A&M 5-1 on Wednesday to advance to the College World Series finals for the third time in program history (1951, 1994).
OU starting pitcher and Owasso alum David Sandlin powered the Sooners through seven innings, giving up five hits and one run while striking out a career-high 12 batters with only one walk.
A three-run home run by Jimmy Crooks in the first inning gave the Sooners the lead for good. OU will face Ole Miss in the best-of-three Championship Series beginning Saturday.
Sandlin struck out the first three batters he faced, five of the first eight and 10 of the first 20. He encountered trouble in the fourth inning when the first two batters reached base. He then fanned Troy Claunch, Brett Minnich and Jordan Thompson on 12 pitches.
Texas A&M starter Ryan Prager (1-4) allowed four runs, three earned, in 2 1/3 innings. Jacob Palisch went the rest of the way, gave up three hits and a run and struck out eight.
The Aggies, who lost 13-8 to OU in their CWS opener Friday, beat Texas and Notre Dame to reach the bracket final. But they couldn’t score against Sandlin until Dylan Rock homered to left-center leading off the sixth.
Sandlin then retired the last six batters he faced and turned the game over to closer Trevin Michael to start the eighth.
The Sooners led 3-0 in the first on Crooks’ fourth of the NCAA Tournament, and ninth of the season, and added single runs in the third and fifth. OU has not trailed in its CWS games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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