Balance key in Oklahoma's win over Shockers


NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma's bats and John Brownell's arm
gave the Sooners the lift they needed in the NCAA baseball
tournament Sunday.
After beating Texas Christian 15-6, the top-seeded Sooners
scored a dozen runs and had 13 hits in a 12-7 win over Wichita
Brownell threw eight innings of relief against third-seeded
Wichita State, providing needed rest for the bullpen heading into
Monday's deciding game against the Shockers.
"It's going to be a battle for both sides. It's going to be a
lot of fun," Brownell said. "That's what college baseball is all
Wichita State (46-21) had 11 hits, including two home runs by
Conor Gillaspie, but committed four errors and couldn't slow
Oklahoma's offense. Ryan Rohlinger led the way for Oklahoma (43-20)
with four hits, including a home run to start a four-run seventh
"I'm just thankful we have another chance tomorrow," Wichita
State coach Gene Stephenson said. "Today was their day, so we'll
see how tomorrow is."
Oklahoma has won three straight games in the regional since
blowing a late lead and losing to TCU in the Sooners' regional
opener Friday.
"Not too high, not too low. That's why we've been able to do
what we've been able to do," Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said.
Oklahoma also reached a regional championship round last season
before losing to Mississippi. Wichita State has failed twice since
1999 to reach a super regional after making the regional
championship round. The Shockers had beaten Oklahoma in two
previous meetings this season.
Oklahoma's four-run seventh came after Wichita State had tied
the score at 6-6 on Josh Workman's sacrifice fly in the top of the
After Rohlinger's home run to start the inning, Oklahoma got a
RBI single from Aaron Reza and a two-run double by No. 9 hitter
Joseph Hughes, who fouled off four pitches with two strikes before
going the opposite way.
Oklahoma added two insurance runs in the eighth inning.
Brownell came on to start the second inning in relief of P.J.
Sandoval, who gave up a two-run home run to Gillaspie in the top of
the first. Brownell threw 130 pitches in eight innings -- both
career highs -- providing badly needed rest to a bullpen that had
struggled in the Sooners' previous three tournament games.
Brownell allowed nine hits and five runs while striking out
seven batters and walking two.
"John Brownell got to take the baseball today far sooner than
he expected," Golloway said. "He really just pitched his heart
out. He went on fumes there late, but he knew what it meant to us
to keep our bullpen intact."
Wichita State led 3-0 in the top of the third after a two-run
home run from Gillaspie, who earlier had an RBI single. He later
added a solo home run.
Oklahoma came back with two runs in the bottom of the third, one
on a run-scoring triple by Chuckie Caufield. Caufield later scored
on an error.
The Sooners added three runs in the fourth inning. Brandon Moss
homered over the left-field wall to start the inning. Consecutive
doubles by Kevin Smith and Kody Kaiser added another run, and
Kaiser scored when Hughes reached on an error.
Oklahoma pushed its lead to 6-3 one inning later, on a two-out
RBI single by Kaiser.
The Shockers scored two runs in the sixth on a solo homer by
Matt Brown and a RBI single by Brandon Hall. They tied it one
inning later on Workman's sacrifice fly.