CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The position Oklahoma finds itself in is a familiar one. Throughout the second half of the season it consistently battled out of difficult positions. The Sooners were knocked into another dire spot on Saturday, falling 5-4 to Appalachian State in their opening game of the NCAA baseball tournament’s Charlottesville Regional.
Digesting the self-inflicted nature of the loss at Davenport Field was hard. Two of the Mountaineers’ runs were unearned and OU committed four errors. It wasn’t a winning blueprint.
“There were several plays that could have made a difference,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said.
OU (38-23) had to make them if it was going to escape with a victory on a night it mostly swung at air.
Appalachian State pitcher Ryan Arrowood (11-0) had a no-hitter going through 6 1/3 innings and didn’t give up a run until the eighth inning. The Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year struck out nine. The Sooners couldn’t do much of anything until Arrowood tired late in the game.
“From the start of the game, everything felt like it was working spot on,” Arrowood said. “I was locating my fastball from the get-go, and (my) curveball was definitely on today.”
The Sooners only had two hits. Caleb Busyhead broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the seventh inning. Evan Mistich finally got OU on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the eighth.
“He (Arrowood) was throwing a good mix of pitches and keeping us off balance. Our approach wasn’t really that great,” Bushyhead said.
The Sooners didn’t really work the count until the latter half of the game. If they could have gotten into the Mountaineers’ bullpen an inning earlier, there might have been a different outcome.
Nathan Hyatt entered with two outs in the eighth inning to try to get the save. He got that last out in the eighth, but then crumbled in the ninth. He walked Bushyhead and Matt Oberste on eight pitches and then hit Garrett Carey on a 1-0 pitch.