Oklahoma outlasts K-State’s late rallies to advance to Big 12 tournament final

Posted Saturday, May. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Oklahoma held off several Kansas State rallies to win 7-6 in 11 innings Saturday and advance to Sunday’s Big 12 tournament championship.

The Sooners led 5-1 before the top-seeded Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. OU responded with a run in the 10th before K-State rallied again to tie it at 6-6 in the bottom of the inning.

Taylor Alspaugh doubled with one out in the top of the 11th and moved to third on a groundout to second. Craig Aikin’s single to left scored Alspaugh to give the Sooners a 7-6 lead.

The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Oklahoma pitcher Kyle Hayes replaced Ralph Garza Jr. on the mound and struck out Mitch Meyer and Alex Bee to end the game.

“The ups and downs of this game were crazy,” OU outfielder Max White said. “But it was really motivating seeing both teams fight. Two teams just battling like that is unbelievable. We just have to keep fighting, especially after these games.”

No. 4 seed Oklahoma meets either Kansas or West Virginia in the tournament final at 1 p.m. Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Sooners lost to Missouri in the title game last year. It’s their third Big 12 tournament title game appearance.

“We watched Missouri dogpile on the way to Omaha. This team has been through a lot,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “We have come up short three times, and tomorrow gives us our first opportunity with one calendar year to not come up short again.”

Both Oklahoma (39-19) and Kansas State (41-17) probably have already secured at-large berths in the NCAA tournament with their regular-season résumés. Sixth-seeded Kansas (33-24) probably can’t rely on its regular-season résumé to earn an at-large berth. Third-seeded West Virginia (33-26) also isn’t likey to have earned an at-large berth.

Witte finishes strong

TCU senior Jantzen Witte finished his college career on a tear. He was 6 of 9 with two runs and an RBI in the Horned Frogs’ first two games at the Big 12 tournament and started Saturday’s finale with a first-inning single.

Witte, who attended Arlington Martin High School, has been a cornerstone at third base for the last four years. He is second all-time at TCU with 63-career doubles, including 15 this season entering Saturday’s game.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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