Oklahoma baseball: 25 years ago OU was the last team standing in the CWS

Oklahoma baseball is absent from the 2019 College World Series, which begins on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

This will be the 73rd year for the College World Series, featuring the eight remaining teams after two weekends of double-elimination play that begin with a 64-team field.

The Sooners were not one of the 64 teams that made it into NCAA postseason play this season, finishing with a 33-23 overall record after an imposing 20-4 start. But it hasn’t always been that way. Oklahoma has made 38 NCAA Tournament appearances and 10 trips to the CWS, third most of any Big 12 team.

Oklahoma is actually a two-time champion on college baseball’s biggest stage, the last of which came 25 years ago this year, in 1994.

The Sooners are one of only 13 schools nationwide to win the College World Series more than once and the only Big 12 school other than Texas to win a CWS title.

Oklahoma won its first World Series crown and baseball national championship in 1951 under head coach Jack Baer. The Sooners were 7-0 in the tournament that year and defeated Tennessee 3-2 in the championship game.

The Sooners would make it back to the CWS seven more times before they would play in another national championship game. That opportunity came in 1994. Oklahoma was 50-17 that season under Larry Cochell, who won 511 games in 15 seasons at OU, the second most in program history.

OU was seeded 4th in the ’94 CWS behind No. 1 Miami (Florida), Georgia Tech and LSU. The Sooners defeated No. 5 Auburn in their opening game and followed that with consecutive wins over Arizona State, sending them to the championship game against a Georgia Tech team that featured two players — catcher Jason Varitek and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra —  who would go on to become major league stars with the Boston Red Sox.

The championship game was deadlocked at two runs apiece after three innings before the Sooner offense exploded for five runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth to pull out to an 11-4 advantage. Bucky Buckles came on in relief to pitch the final three innings and preserve a 13-5 victory and Oklahoma’s second national championship.

The first four hitters in the OU lineup accounted for nine hits in the game and eight of the Sooners’ 13 runs batted in, including a three-run home run by designated hitter Damon Minor in the four-run sixth.

Oklahoma center fielder Chip Glass was named Most Outstanding Player in the CWS that season, and Cochell was National Coach of the Year. Glass had hit only three home runs the entire season entering the CWS, but slugged three fence-clearing blasts in four CWS games.

The Sooners have been back to the College World Series two more times since the 1994 season. They returned in 1995, but were eliminated in their first two games. Sunny Golloway took Oklahoma to the CWS in 2010. OU was eliminated by eventual champion South Carolina after three games.

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