OKLAHOMA CITY —
“The guys in front and behind me did a good job of protecting me,” Oberste said.
It was the key. Oberste had runners to drive in and Kansas (34-25) had to throw him strikes because there was no open base to put him.
Then again, OU played that way throughout the tournament. In 38 innings, it never trailed against Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas.
They busted open the championship game with three runs in the top of the first inning on two-out RBI singles from Hector Lorenzana and Anthony Hermelyn and Oberste scored on a wild pitch.
The early lead allowed the Sooners to piece together the pitching in their fourth game in four days.
OU coach Sunny Golloway hoped he could get two innings out of starter Ethan Carnes. He got 21⁄3 frames. The decision to turn it over to closer Jacob Evans for the next five was the tough one.
Evans was on the mound when Kansas State rallied for four runs in the ninth in OU’s 7-6, 11-inning victory over the Wildcats Saturday. It was a blown save for the freshman left-hander and it was hard to forget.
However, Golloway showed faith in him and it paid off. Evans (7-2) picked up the victory after holding the Jayhawks to four hits and one run over five innings.
“I was struggling for a little bit and down on myself,” Evans said. “I got out of one inning and went back there and calmed myself down and went out there and did what I did all season.”
Again, Golloway was hoping for two innings from Evans and wound up with much more. Kyle Hayes, much like he had a day earlier, calmly picked up the final five outs to get the save and give the Sooners the title. Frank Duncan (4-6) took the loss for Kansas. He lasted three innings, allowing five runs on six hits. It was a tough loss for the Jayhawks to take.