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Sooners baseball survives, advances to Norman Regional final

Eddie On3by:Eddie Radosevich06/02/24

The Sooners baseball season will continue after surviving an elimination game Sunday afternoon, advancing to the regional final with a 4-3 win against Duke. 

In a game that was filled with outstanding defense, Oklahoma starter Grant Stevens was the main character to make sure the Sooners get another crack at UConn.

Following a two-hour-and-six-minute rain delay and his team’s season on the line, the senior left-hander delivered his longest outing of the year. Stevens threw seven innings, allowing just a single run to the high-powered Duke offense. 

Duke jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first, cashing in a Zac Morris leadoff with an AJ Garcia RBI single. 

Kendall Pettis in the outfield is a continued thing. He made two web gem catches. The first coming on a diving grab to rob former Sooner, Wallace Clark, in the second.

Oklahoma came back with three runs in the second. Rocco Garza-Gongora shot an RBI single into centerfield to tie the game 1-1. Freshman Jason Walk then made his first plate appearance in an NCAA Tournament game memorable with a two-run triple to right centerfield. 

The Sooners half of the second ended with Duke right fielder AJ Gracia robbing John Spikerman of a two-run home run, leaping and bringing the ball back into the field. 

For Oklahoma, it was all about the starter on the mound. Stevens worked around a pair of singles in the fifth with a strikeout and a foul ball hauled in, in front of the Duke dugout by Rocco Garza-Gongora. He struck out a pair in the sixth and the seventh. 


Easton Carmichael and Jaxon Wilits each delivered one-out singles in seventh to lead to a Michael Snyder RBI single to make it 4-1. 

Then the Oklahoma bullpen experience began. Zac Morris welcomed Carson Atwood to the game with his second double of the game. AJ Garcia then powered a two-run home run over the right centerfield fence to make it 4-3. Gulp. 

The Sooners season then fell on the right arm of closer Malachi Witherspoon. Following a one out single off Atwood, Witherspoon stranded the tying run on base with a pair of fly balls. Witherspoon slammed the door in the ninth on the Blue Devils season. He retired all five batters he faced. 


Oklahoma advances to the Norman Regional final and will need to beat UConn twice. The Huskies and Sooners will play Sunday night, with first pitch at 8:06 p.m. The seventh and final game of the Norman Regional would be played on Monday with an Oklahoma victory.

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