Oklahoma 7, Wichita State 6
Monday, June 5th 2006, 6:39 AM CDT
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma erupted for six second-inning runs and held on to beat Wichita State 7-6 and win the NCAA baseball tournament's Norman Regional on Monday night.
The Sooners, who lost its first-round game to Texas Christian on Friday, beat Houston, TCU and Wichita State twice in three subsequent days to claim their first regional title since 1995, a season in which they reached the College World Series.
Oklahoma (44-20) also hadn't won four straight NCAA tournament games since 1995. The Sooners will play at Rice later this week in the tournament's super regional round. Rice beat the Sooners 8-2 on Feb. 17 in Houston but Oklahoma routed the Owls 15-3 on April 18 in Norman.
Since 1999, Wichita State (46-23) has reached the regional championship round on three occasions and lost each time.
Oklahoma pitcher Daniel McCutchen, who threw 8 2/3 innings in the Sooners' 7-6 loss to TCU, threw 5 2/3 innings of relief Monday to pick up the win and improve to 9-8.
Joseph Hughes, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, hit a two-run single and Chuckie Caufield hit a three-run homer to ignite OU's second-inning outburst. All the runs came with two outs.
Wichita State starter Rob Musgrave (6-3) lasted only 1 2/3 innings. However, the Shockers' bullpen stopped the bleeding. Anthony Capra, Matt Smith, Damon Sublett and Noah Booth held the Sooners scoreless until the eighth.
That's when Oklahoma picked up what proved to be a huge insurance run on Russell Raley's RBI single, which scored Hughes.
Wichita State's Noah Krol, who went 3-for-4 three RBIs, drove in Brian Spear with a double in the bottom of the third inning and Conor Gillaspie singled home Krol.
The Shockers added two more runs with on Spears' two-run single in the sixth inning and Krol narrowed the gap to 7-6 with a two-run home run with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was only Krol's second home run of the season.
One out later, Josh Workman singled, and he went to third base on Gillaspie's bad-hop single. But Derek Schermerhorn hit into a force play, ending the Shockers' season.
Oklahoma is the second state team to reach the final 16 of the NCAA tournament. Oral Roberts of Tulsa earned a spot opposite Clemson by beating Oklahoma State on Sunday night in the title game of the Fayetteville Regional.