Bulldogs fall to Sooners 20-10

Published 11:37 pm Friday, June 1, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Oklahoma scored nine runs in the seventh inning and had its most runs in an NCAA baseball regional tournament game since 1999, helping the Sooners defeat Mississippi State 20-10 in the opening game of the Tallahassee regional on Friday.

The Sooners, who trailed 10-7 after six innings, sent 15 batters to the plate in the seventh as they got seven hits and took advantage of a pair of errors. Thomas Hughes had two hits in the inning, while Brandon Zaragoza and Cade Harris each drove in a pair of runs.

Zaragoza went 4-for-7 and drove in four runs, while Justin Mitchell, Kyle Mendenhall and Blake Brewster all had three hits.

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Oklahoma (37-23) advances to the winner’s bracket on Saturday while Mississippi State (31-26) faces an elimination game.

The Bulldogs had four home runs in the loss. Dustin Skelton, who had a two-run shot in the second for his first collegiate home run, drove in four runs.

Kyle Tyler (6-2) got the win in relief and JP France (4-5) got the loss. The teams combined to use 13 pitchers, including eight by Mississippi State.

The teams also combined for 34 hits in a 4-hour, 42-minute game that the Sooners broke open with a nine-run seventh inning. The Sooners tacked on four more runs in the ninth to score 20 in a postseason game for the first time since 1986.

Brandon Zaragoza had his first career four-hit game, and six other Sooners finished with at least two hits. OU tied its season high with 22.

“As we started to build that confidence, knowing we could put runs up against those guys, it was contagious and the momentum kept building and going,” Zaragoza said.

Oklahoma was without two of its top players, outfielders Steele Walker (oblique) and Kyler Murray (hamstring). They are day-to-day, coach Skip Johnson said.

Before Friday, Mississippi State hadn’t given up so many runs since a 20-9 loss to Arkansas in March 2009.

The next matchup for the Bulldogs looks extremely  difficult, as they will face the hosts of the regional.

Perennial powerhouse Florida State won their eighth ACC Championship in dominant fashion and locked in a No. 7 national seed for the tournament.

The Seminoles are 43-17 and coming off an 11-8 win over No. 25 Louisville. They also hold the nation’s longest active postseason appearance streak, which goes back 41 seasons.

Florida State fell to Samford in game one by a score of 7-6.

Samford had 10 hits to Florida State’s 7, and only committed one error compared to Florida State’s one.

Samuel Strickland pitched for Florida State, lasting four innings and giving up five.