TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— The Samford baseball team dropped a 4-0 decision to the Oklahoma Sooners in a winner's bracket game in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional Saturday evening at Dick Howser Stadium.
With the loss, Samford (37-25) will now take on Mississippi State in an elimination game Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT). The television assignment for the game will be announced later tonight. The winner of the Samford-Mississippi State game will then have to defeat Oklahoma (38-23) twice to win the regional.
For Samford in the loss, Branden Fryman, Troy Dixon, Ayrton Schafer, Connor Burns, Anthony Mulrine, Austin Edens and Taylor Garris had one hit each. Cody Shelton (2-4) pitched 3.0 innings, giving up three runs on six hits to take the loss on the mound for Samford. Jack Rude pitched the final 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on two hits.
Oklahoma was led by Thomas Hughes, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Kyle Mendenhall homered and drove in three runs in a 1-for-3 performance at the plate. Nathan Wiles (7-3) pitched 8.2 innings, giving up no runs on seven hits. Wiles struck out 10 batters, while walking just two. Austin Hansen came in to record the final out of the game to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Oklahoma jumped on top early with three runs in the top of the third inning. Mendenhall hit a three-run home run to left field with Brady Lindsly and Brylie Ware on base for an early 3-0 Sooner lead.
The Sooners added to their lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Justin Mitchell walked to lead off the inning. Mitchell later scored on a single up the middle by Hughes to push Oklahoma's lead to 4-0.
Samford had two chances to get back into the game late. In the seventh inning, the Bulldogs had runners at the corners with one out, and in the ninth inning, Samford had runners on second and third with two outs. In both innings, however, Oklahoma was able to get out of the jam to preserve its lead.
SAMFORD POSTGAME NOTES
· Samford is now 3-3 all-time in NCAA Regional games, including an 0-1 mark against Oklahoma.
· The loss ends Samford's five game win streak, and marks the Bulldogs' first postseason loss of the season.
· The loss was Samford's third-straight to Oklahoma. The Bulldogs' last win over the Sooners came on May 17, 2012, in a 4-2 Samford victory in Norman, Oklahoma.
· Sunday's matchup with Mississippi State will mark the third time the two programs have met in an NCAA Regional. The teams met twice in the 2012 Tallahassee Regional, with Samford winning both contests, by scores of 5-0 and 3-2.