By Hunter Cornejo
From the first pitch of the game from the Sooners’ starter Cade Horton, you just had a strong feeling that this game was going to be all about the Sooners. Blake Robertson made an absolutely insane catch, falling into the Notre Dame dugout, all while still holding onto the ball. Cade Horton then went on to strike out two batters in the first, giving the Sooners their first opportunity to put runs on the board. Peyton Graham picked up his first hit of the night, and Blake Robertson was walked. However, Notre Dame starter Austin Temple was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run. In the top of the second inning, Cade Horton struck out two more batters while only giving up one walk. In the bottom of the second inning, Austin Temple walked two batters, forcing Notre Dame to turn to Aidan Tyrell. Tyrell was able to get the Fighting Irish out of the inning, while leaving two Sooners on the bases. In the top of the third inning, Cade Horton faced three batters, retiring all three. The Sooners finally put runs on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Tanner Tredaway singled, knocking in speedster Peyton Graham. Later in the inning, Wallace Clark singled, scoring Tredaway. The top of the fourth inning started with Carter Putz recording a hit. Cade Horton went on to pick up two more strikeouts on his way to getting out of the inning without surrendering a run. The bottom of the fourth inning contained some of the most bizarre baseball in recent history. Notre Dame started the inning recording an out at 3rd base and ended the inning with an out at 3rd base. The out to end the inning happened when John Spikerman was waived onto 3rd base. When Notre Dame third baseman Jack Brannigan went to tag Spikerman the ball came loose, Sooner third base coach Clay Van Hook was hit by the loose ball. Van Hook, however, was not able to alert Spikerman in time that he was not out. Jack Brannigan then picked up the ball and tagged Spikerman to end the inning. In the top of the fifth inning, Cade Horton gave up a base hit to Spencer Myers, and then picked up another strikeout on his way to getting out of another inning without giving up a run. The bottom of the fifth inning started with Tanner Tredaway picking up a one out single. The next at bat Jimmy Crooks picked up a base hit advancing Tredaway to third base. Wallace Clark bunted to score Tredaway, as well as Jimmy Crooks on Notre Dame first baseman Carter Putz’s throwing error. Sooner freshman Jackson Nicklaus picked up his first hit of the game to score Clark. In the top of the sixth inning, Cade Horton gave up his first runs of the game on David LaManna’s two run home run. Horton recovered, bringing his strikeout total up to 11, a career high. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tanner Tredaway picked up another RBI on a single to score Spikerman, putting the score at 6-2. In the top of the seventh inning, Jarett Goodman entered the game for Oklahoma in relief, Goodman was able to pick up 2 strikeouts without giving up a run. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Nicklaus doubled, however Notre Dame pitcher Roman Kimball did not allow the Sooners to score another run. In the top of the eighth inning, the Sooners turned to closer Trevin Michael who gave up a hit to Putz, but Michael did not allow the Fighting Irish to knock in another run. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Peyton Graham and Tanner Tredaway successfully completed a double steal. Jackson Dennies was brought in for the Fighting Irish and was able to strikeout Wallace Clark to end the inning without allowing another run. In the top of the ninth, Notre Dame showed that they were not going to go down without a fight. Brooks Coetzee singled with no outs to put two runners on for Notre Dame. Sooner third baseman Wallace Clark was able to make the double play, and put Trevin Michael one out away. Trevin Michael struck out Ryan Cole to make the Oklahoma Sooners 2-0 in Omaha.
In the Sooners’ win, Oklahoma showed that they have the potential to win the CWS. Sooner Shortstop Peyton Graham became the first player since the legendary Barry Bonds to tally 4 base hits as well as 2 stolen bases in the same CWS game. Sophomore pitcher Cade Horton had a career night striking out 11 on the biggest stage in college baseball. Notre Dame hopes to stay alive when they play Texas A&M in an elimination game on Tuesday at 1:00 PM CT. The Sooners will play the winner of Notre Dame and Texas A&M on Wednesday at 1:00 PM CT.