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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Sooners In Big 12 Championship After Wild Win Over Kansas State

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma Sooners had already blown two leads against Kansas State that could have secured them a berth in Sunday's Big 12 Tournament championship. With the bases loaded and just one out against the top seed in the tournament, it appeared they were on the verge of doing it again.

OU coach Sunny Golloway turned to reliever Kyle Hayes to try to get the Sooners out of the jam, and Hayes delivered, striking out the final two batters of the game to give the Sooners a wild, 7-6 win over the Wildcats at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The win puts the Sooners in the Big 12 Tournament championship game for the second straight year, and all but assures Oklahoma of an NCAA tournament berth. The Sooners could face any of Kansas, West Virginia or TCU, depending on how the evening games play out.

Oklahoma took the lead in the top of the 11th inning when Taylor Alspaugh doubled with one out. After a groundout moved him to third, Alspaugh came home to score on an RBI single from Craig Aikin.

The Sooners held a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth when the Wildcats began to rally. RJ Santigate and Ross Kivett singled around a strikeout of Lance Miles. After Jacob Evans came on in relief of Kindle Ladd, Tanner Witt singled to score Santigate. Shane Conlon followed that with an RBI double that made the score 5-3. After Jared King struck out, Jon Davis was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs.

Mitch Meyer then came through with the big hit, singling to center to score Conlon and Witt. OU centerfielder Max White gunned down Davis at third for the final out of the inning, but the damage was done.

In the top of the 10th, OU quickly responded with a double to left from White that was about a foot from leaving the park. Matt Oberste followed White with a single that scored White from second, once again giving the Sooners the lead at 6-5.

In the bottom of the frame, KSU once again refused to go down without a fight. On in relief of Evans, Ralph Garza Jr. hit Blair DeBord to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt and groundout moved pinch runner Clayton Dalrymple to third, Kivett looped an RBI single over third to tie the score at six.

The Sooners had grabbed a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Garrett Carey knocked a bases-loaded double to right center, scoring three runs.

Oklahoma pitching dodged several bullets early in the game, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the third inning. However, Jake Fisher struck out the next two batters on looping curveballs to preserve a 1-0 Sooners lead.

Kansas State loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fourth, this time with no outs. Fisher struck out Santigate before being relieved by Kindle Ladd. Ladd then struck out Miles before hitting Kivett to score Kansas State's first run of the game. A groundout by Witt to Hector Loranzana ended the Wildcats' threat.

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