COLUMBIA — Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway’s message to his team for the NCAA super regional series against South Carolina is simple: The Sooners have beaten the two-time defending national champions before and they can do it again.
Oklahoma (42-23) was the last team to defeat South Carolina (43-17) with a 4-3 victory to start what looked like a short trip for the Gamecocks at the 2010 College World Series. Instead, South Carolina followed that with a win over top-seeded Arizona State to begin a record run of 19 consecutive NCAA tournament victories – a streak it carries into the best-of-three series that starts tonight at Carolina Stadium.
Shortly after Oklahoma rallied from the loser’s bracket to win the Charlottesville Regional on Monday night, Golloway got Gamecocks fans stirred up by reminding everyone of the Sooners’ success two years ago.
Golloway wasn’t boasting, taunting or throwing down a gauntlet, he said, just showing belief in a team that fought all year to get this far.
“It’s not disrespectful in any way,” Golloway said. “I think South Carolina fans are going to fill the ballpark and cheer for the Gamecocks regardless of what coach Golloway said either way.”
Oklahoma brings some frustrating memories of the Gamecocks at that College World Series, too. Four days after their win, the Sooners were a strike away from ousting South Carolina in the bottom of the 12th with a 2-1 lead. But the Gamecocks forged what’s become their trademark during their championship runs by rallying to an improbable 3-2 victory.
“It’ll take me about 10 years to get over it,” Golloway said with a smile.
FLORIDA STATE 17, STANFORD 1
In Tallahassee, Fla., Devon Travis homered twice and drove in six runs as Florida State pounded Mark Appel on its way to a victory over Stanford in Game 1.
ARIZONA 7, ST. JOHN’S 6 (10 INN.)
In Tucson, Ariz., Trent Gilbert hit a bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning as Arizona rallied from an early five-run deficit and beat St. John’s in Game 1.
GAME SUSPENDED: In Baton Rouge, La., Louisiana State University hit tying home runs in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, prolonging a wild game with upstart Stony Brook long enough for a downpour to suspended it until this morning, tied at 4.
The contest will resume at 11:05.