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June 21, 2010

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College World Series Central

Post-Game Press Conference

Omaha, Neb. – Caleb Bushyhead drove in two runs and tallied a solo home run and Garrett Buechele also homered as Oklahoma held on for a 4-3 victory over South Carolina on day two of the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium. It was a wild day at Rosenblatt Stadium as the start time was delayed four hours and 15 minutes by rain with an additional two hour and one minute delay just before the start of the bottom of the sixth inning as well. Oklahoma is now 50-16 on the year while the loss drops Carolina to 48-16 for the season. South Carolina will next play on Tuesday, June 22 at 4:30 p.m. ET against the loser of the Arizona State-Clemson game in an elimination contest.

Trailing 3-2 in the top of the eighth inning, South Carolina looked to tie the game up loading the bases with a one-out single by Whit Merrifield and a pair of two-out walks to Adrian Morales and Christian Walker. Oklahoma reliever Jeremy Erben was able to get out of the jam though as Brady Thomas lined a hard shot into right field that was corralled by Cody Reine. Oklahoma got some important insurance in the bottom of the eighth on Bucechele’s solo home run to take a two-run lead. Carolina again battled in the top of the ninth as Kyle Enders singled to left field followed by a base hit to right field by pinch hitter Robert Beary. With one out, the Gamecocks then loaded the bases on a walk to Evan Marzilli. Oklahoma reliever Ryan Duke got the second out of the inning with Whit Merrifield popping up to Buechele in follow territory right near third base. Down to its final out, Carolina’s Jackie Bradley Jr. walked on four pitches scoring Enders and cutting the Sooners lead to just one run. Duke however stayed composed and was able to get Adrian Morales to fly out to center field ending the game and giving Oklahoma the victory.

Oklahoma starter Michael Rocha worked six innings and allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts to earn the win. He is 8-2 on the year. Carolina starter Blake Cooper suffered the loss and is now 12-2 for the season. He allowed three runs on six hits in five innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Oklahoma closer Ryan Duke earned his 12th save of the year with one shutout inning of relief.

“I realize (it was) a long day at the yard but despite the length and the conditions, it turned out to be a really good college baseball game,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “They took advantage of some run-scoring opportunities. Buechele gave them a little bit of a cushion there with a home run. We battled. We had some good at-bats. Never came up with a really big hit. Brady Thomas squared that ball up. I guess that was the in the eighth inning, but right at Reine. So it didn’t go down. But we battled and Oklahoma did a nice job winning the ball game.”

Oklahoma broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Ellison led off with a single and was sacrificed over to second base. With two outs and Ellison still on second, the Sooners grabbed the lead on a RBI single to right center by Tyler Ogle. Carolina struck back quickly to tie it at 1-1 in the top of the second inning as Christian Walker led off with a solo home run to left center, his eighth homer of the year. Walker crushed a 1-0 pitch from Rocha for his second consecutive home run in as many at bats.

The Sooners reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the second with Caleb Bushyhead delivering a solo home run to right field, his sixth round tripper of the year as Oklahoma went back ahead 2-1 on the Gamecocks. Carolina again answered with a home run as Jackie Bradley Jr. tagged his 12th homer of the season to right field knotting the game at two apiece in the top of the fourth. Oklahoma would again reclaim the lead with a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cody Reine opened the frame with a single and was sacrificed over. With two outs and Reine on second base, Bushyhead drove in his second run of the game with a RBI single down the right field line.

South Carolina out-hit Oklahoma 9-7 in the loss. Bradley, Walker and Thomas all had two hits apiece. Bradley now has a 17-game hitting streak on the year. Reine and Bushyhead led Oklahoma at the plate with two hits apiece as well.