OMAHA, Nebraska ( Associated Press) — David Sandlin held Texas A&M to one run and hit a career-high 12 points in seven innings, Jimmy Crooks held up three runs in the first, and Oklahoma advanced to the College World Series finale with a 5-1 win on Wednesday .
Struggling for the softball and baseball world title, the Sooners (45–22) won three consecutive games at Charles Schwab Field by at least four times and would play for their first national championship since 1994.
Their opponent in the best-of-three final starting Saturday will be either Arkansas or Mississippi. The two teams were supposed to meet on Wednesday night, with Ole Miss needing one win to advance and Arkansas needing two.
Texas A&M (44–20) finished 2–2 in the CWS under freshman coach Jim Schlossnagle after 29–27, winning just nine games in the Southeast Conference and not even qualifying for the league tournament in 2021.
The Sooners didn’t look like an NCAA tournament team, losing two of their first three Big 12 series and starting 18-12. They have won 27 of 37, including 12 of 14 since the end of the regular season.
Sandlin (9-4), who hit five and hit one in a 100-pitch game, worked the outside half of the plate effectively with a sharp slider and elevated fastball.
He struck out the first three batters he faced, five of the first eight and 10 of the first 20. He ran into trouble in the fourth inning when the first two hitters reached base. He then supported Troy Clounch, Brett Minnich and Jordan Thompson on 12 pitches.
Texas A&M starter Ryan Prager (1-4) allowed four runs, three earned, in 2 1/3 innings. Jacob Palish went the rest of the way, gave up three hits and a run, and struck out eight.
The Aggies, who lost 13-8 to OU in the CWS Opener on Friday, beat Texas and Notre Dame to advance to the bracket final. But they couldn’t hit Sandlina until Dylan Rock hit center left for a sixth lead.
Sandlin then gave up the last six batters he faced and handed the game over to closer Trevin Michael to start the eighth.
The Sooners led 3-0 in Crooks’ first at the fourth NCAA Tournament and ninth of the season, and added single runs in the third and fifth. OU is not far behind in their CWS games.
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