OXFORD, Miss. -- The Oklahoma baseball team’s run at its first appearance in a NCAA Super Regional ended with a 20-5 defeat to No. 1 seed Mississippi on Sunday in the Oxford Regional.
The Rebels (47-18) claimed the Oxford Regional Championship with the victory and will advance to host a super regional next weekend. Ole Miss scored five runs in the second inning, sixth in the seventh and four more in the eighth to out pace the Sooners for the victory.
OU (35-26) had the daunting task of trying to defeat Ole Miss (No. 9 Baseball America) on Sunday and then again on Monday to advance in the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners played almost four hours of baseball earlier in the day to eliminate the No. 4 seed Maine, 11-10. OU and Ole Miss started the title game 50 minutes after the Maine contest was completed.
P.J. Sandoval (3-3) made just his second start of 2005 for OU and lasted 5 1/3 innings. Sandoval gave up nine earned runs on 11 hits and four walks. Eric Fowler (7-2) was solid for Ole Miss, pitching seven innings and allowing three earned runs on eight hits.
The Rebels’ Chris Coghlan was named the Tounament MVP and showed why with a 4-for-6 performance on Sunday versus OU that included three RBI and five runs scored. Stephen Head also swung the bat well in the final game, going 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Kody Kaiser and Chuckie Caufield had four of the Sooners’ nine hits, collecting two apiece. Both of Caufield’s hits were home runs after recording just two bombs this year before the Ole Miss game.
Kaiser (OF), Caufield (OF) and Ryan Rohlinger (2B) were named to the All-Regional team for their efforts in the four games during the NCAA Tournament. The three honorees marked the most an OU club had placed on an All-Regional team since 1995. That squad (five members) played in the Midwest II Regional a year after winning Oklahoma’s second national title in 1994.
Caufield led all Sooners on the weekend with a .400 batting average (6-for-15) with three home runs and four RBI. Kaiser finished the tournament with a .389 clip (7-for-18) and knocked out two homers and collected four RBI. Rohlinger continued to play solid defense, filling in for Russell Raley in all but one game at second base, and also had a grand slam in one of his three hits.
Senior captains Matt Bose, Jeff Scuderi and Eric Thornton all played in their final game as Sooners. Bose made the most of his final game by homering to left in the seventh inning. Eric Thornton had a solid run in the tournament, hitting .353 with a homer and two RBI. Jeff Scuderi made one appearance, a pinch-hit in the ninth inning on Sunday, after sitting out the tourney with a contusion in his left leg.
The Sooners led all teams in the Oxford Regional with eight home runs (Ole Miss-4, Maine-4, USM-1) ... Ole Miss leads the all-time series with OU, 4-2. Twenty-seven of the Sooners’ 49 homers this season have come in the last 17 games (all under interim head coach Sunny Golloway) ... Kody Kaiser and Freddy Rodriguez extended their individual hitting streaks to nine games ... Reliever Will Savage finished off the season with another appearance against Ole Miss. He completed the year by pitching in 18 of OU’s last 19 games ... The Sooners finished the year with a 12-6 record under interim head coach Sunny Golloway. Four of thoses losses are to teams that made the NCAA Tournament (Missouri, Nebraska and Ole Miss-2). While Missouri was eliminated by the defending national champions, Cal State Fullerton, the remaining two opponents, Nebraska and Ole Miss, are both hosting NCAA Super Regionals next weekend.