Oklahoma knocks Notre Dame to brink of College World Series elimination
Oklahoma starting pitcher Cade Horton kept Notre Dame guessing Sunday night.
The righty recorded 11 strikeouts in six innings of work as Oklahoma built an early lead in a 6-2 victory at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb.
The loss knocked Notre Dame baseball to an elimination game against Texas A&M (42-19) on Tuesday. The winner Tuesday will have to beat Oklahoma (44-22) twice to advance to the final three-game series of the College World Series.
The Irish (41-16) couldn't dig themselves out of the early hole that started in the third inning. An RBI single by center fielder Tanner Tredaway put the Sooners on the board first in the bottom of the third. Third baseman Wallace Clark knocked Tredaway home with an RBI single after Tredaway advanced to second on a passed ball by catcher David LaManna.
Notre Dame relief pitcher Aidan Tyrell, a lefty, yielded those first two runs after replacing starter Austin Temple in the second inning. The right-handed Temple walked three Oklahoma batters in 1 1/3 innings of work. Notre Dame coach Link Jarrett pulled Temple after his last two walks in the second inning. Tyrell escaped that jam for the Irish, but he didn't have as much success throughout his three innings of work.
Notre Dame's defense, which threw out two Oklahoma baserunners at third base in the fourth inning, didn't always help Tyrell's cause. First baseman Carter Putz threw wildly on a Clark sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning. Tredaway scored on the sacrifice bunt, but the error allowed catcher Jimmy Crooks to score after starting the play on first. A Jackson Nicklaus single plated Clark for another unearned run to put Oklahoma ahead 5-0.
Tyrell (5-2) was tagged with two earned runs of the five total scored while he was on the mound. He allowed eight hits and stuck out two.
Notre Dame finally scored in the sixth inning on a two-run home run by LaManna, but that was the last time an Irish baserunner crossed home plate.
Oklahoma answered with one run in the sixth on another Tredaway RBI single and held the Irish scoreless the last three innings with righties Jaret Godman (one inning) and Trevin Michael (two) closing out the game after Horton's strong outing. Tredaway finished 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Jarrett utilized seven Notre Dame pitchers in eight innings of work. Only Temple, Tyrell and Matt Bedford, who allowed the run in the sixth, pitched more than one inning.
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