Sooners Open Season, 4-Game Series with Win

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:12 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 18, 2011 5:46 PM CDT

Stephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- The No. 6 Sooners opened their season under sunny skies Friday, just a week after winter weather brought the state to an abrupt haul. With the temperatures lingering in the mid 70s, fans watched what could be the beginning of another College World Series run, if the Sooners have any say in it.

Oklahoma went 50-18 last season, making it to the program’s 10th CWS, but this year the team wants to come home with the title. The Sooners opened both its season and a four-game series with a 7-1 win over William and Mary.

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Senior captain Michael Rocha started on the mound for the Sooners, wrapping up the first inning quickly with little contest from the Tribe’s hitters. Oklahoma managed to get on the board quickly when Max White hit a double down leftfield line. He advanced to third on the next at-bat off a sacrifice bunt by Cody Reine. Garrett Buechele singled to left field, hitting home White to take an early 1-0 lead.

The Sooners tacked on two more runs in the second inning and one in the third, when Buechele hit his first homer of the season to bring the Sooners up 4-0. Two more runs -- one off an error by William and Mary’s second basemen and another off a wild pitch by the Tribe’s Matt Davenport -- put Oklahoma up 6-0 heading in to the sixth. Rocha continued to hold the Tribe scoreless, while his offense continued to pick apart the William and Mary pitchers.

With Reid Killen on the mound in the beginning of the sixth and White on first and Ricky Eisenberg on third, Reine stepped up to the plate. He grounded up the middle, allowing the Tribe to turn a double play, but not before Eisenberg could cross the plate. The Sooners were up 7-0 at the bottom of the sixth.

Neither team got on the board in the seventh or eighth innings, but William and Mary were able to notch their only run of the game in the top of the ninth, when Jonathan Slattery recorded an RBI. Rocha earned the win after pitching seven innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven batters. Davenport finished with the loss after pitching five innings, giving up eight hits.

The two teams will play two games on Saturday, the first at 12 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m.