Urgent people know how to rest on the road.
When they are on a bus or a plane, they spend time watching movies together. The 1993 film Tombstone is the most popular choice.
When they are at the hotel, they eat a good meal before relaxing with some video games. Unsurprisingly, MLB The Show is a fan favorite.
This routine became the norm for the OU during the nomadic post-season. After winning the Big 12 Tournament title in Arlington, Texas, the Sooners continued their tour by winning both the Gainesville Regional and the Blacksburg Super Regional.
“It feels good for us,” Crooks said Wednesday. “We were really made to play on the road. I don’t think it really bothers us as a team. I think it makes us a little stronger.”
On Friday, the Crooks and the Sooners made themselves home on the biggest stage of them all.
OU started the College World Series with a 13-8 victory over fifth-place Texas A&M at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. The Sooners made an early statement by scoring seven runs in the second half, and Crocs threw an exclamation point.
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After a solo run by Blake Robertson and an RBI single by Tanner Tredaway extending the lead to 5-0, Crooks stole the show by firing three home runs over the wall in the right field.
“I thought we set the table really early,” said OU head coach Skip Johnson. “I’m really proud of the guys who fought and went off the field onto the pitch.”
Jordan Thompson of Texas A&M narrowed the difference to 8-3 on the bottom of the frame, but rookie Jackson Nicklaus kept O’U in charge.
The Sooners loaded the bases at the top of the third inning when Nicklaus sent a shot that scraped the sky into the right field. All Aggies players can do is watch him sail over their heads at a Grand Slam.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be late for a Fastball,” Nicklaus said. “I’ve been working really hard on it, diagnosing pitches, separating balls and hits. I’ve seen the pitch from my hand, a nice fast ball, and just trying to swing it really well.”
Redshirt pitcher Jake Bennett kept Texas A&M crime. He finished the day with three strokes and four in six, but the flood gates opened as soon as he got off the hill.
The Aggies hit four runs at the bottom of the seventh inning to make it a 12-8 contest. They had a triple of RBI singles, and they all came in two strokes.
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But this was not enough.
An RBI double by John Spikerman at the top of the ninth place increased the OU’s lead to 13-8, and Trevin Michael completed the rest. The graduate transfer got the bottom line by making Jack Moss fly.
“I was trying to give a presentation the whole time,” Michael said. “I wasn’t really trying to get in there and beat everyone up or anything. And it was really easy for me to agree to such an introduction.”
Nicklaus finished with four RBIs and two 1 for 3 hits. Crooks and Robertson each added three RBIs while going 1 for 4 and 1 for 5 on the board, respectively.
OU advances to face the ninth-place winner in Texas and Notre Dame on Sunday at 6 p.m. The Sooners will be without red jersey junior Brett Squires, who broke his hand on Friday after taking a knock in the third inning.
Carlson:The OU baseball team heads to the College World Series on the backs – and arms – of an Oklahoma-born pitcher
Next up for OU: Winner from Texas-Notre Dame
When: 6 pm on Sunday
where: Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska
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College World Series scoreboard
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