By Hunter Cornejo
The Oklahoma Sooners kick off the College World Series versus their old foe Texas A&M. The Sooners are led by star shortstop Peyton Graham, with his perfect combination of power and speed. Graham is batting .336 with 20 HRs and 32 SB, leading the speedy Sooners in both categories. Of Graham’s 20 HRs, 6 of them have been in postseason play. The Sooners started off their season a little slow after going 0-3 at the 2022 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic but have now caught fire late in the season. The Sooners entered the Big 12 Tournament as the 3 seed and then went a perfect 4-0 to win the Big 12 Tournament Championship 8-1 against rival Texas. Although the Sooners won the Big 12 Tournament, the NCAA chose to send Oklahoma to the Gainesville regional. The Sooners started off game 1 against Liberty with a 16-3 victory, then in game 2 silenced the hostile Florida crowd with a 9-4 win. In game 3 the Sooners lost 2-7 forcing a win or go home matchup the following day. In the win or go home matchup the Sooners were down 2-1 when a lightning delay turned into a 5.5 hour delay. The Sooners came out of the long wait ready to play and won 5-4.
After winning the Gainesville regional, the Sooners went to Blacksburg, Virginia to face the #4 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in the Super Regionals. In game 1 the Sooners led 5-0 in the 6th, then the Hokies hit 2 home runs to make it a 5-4 game. The Sooners closed out the final two innings to get the game 1 win. Game 2 was all about Virginia Tech in their 14-8 win forcing a win or go home game 3. In the top of the 1st, Peyton Graham and Tanner Tredaway each hit home runs to put the Sooners up 2-0. The Hokies answered back with a 2 run home run by Carson DeMartini tying it up at 2-2. The Sooners’ starter Cade Horton went on to not allow another hit. In the top of the 4th, Tanner Tredaway hit another solo shot, and from that point on it was all about the Sooners. In the bottom of the 4th Kendall Pettis made a spectacular catch that made it known that the Sooners would soon be on their way to Omaha. In the bottom of the 8th, Sooner closer Trevin Michael pitched two hitless innings racking up 4 strikeouts to officially punch the Sooners ticket to Omaha.
Sooner manager Skip Johnson hopes to carry the momentum from Sunday into Game 1 of the CWS against Texas A&M. The first pitch is at 1:00 PM CDT.