It’s been four years, but Oklahoma baseball is back in the postseason and headed to Florida, as the No. 2 seed in that NCAA Gainsville regional.
A year after going 27-28 and suffering their first losing season since 2003, the Sooners produced a 10-win improvement, tied for second place in the Big 12 regular season and won the conference championship tournament, earning Oklahoma the Big 12 automatic berth in the NCAA Baseball Championship.
The Sooners storm into NCAA postseason play having swept their way through the Big 12 Championship (4-0) and won 10 of their last 13 games. OU is 19-8 since April 12 and closed out the Big 12 schedule winning six of its eight series in conference play.
In Gainesville, OU will face a formidable field that includes host team and No. 1 seed Florida as well as No. 3 Liberty and No. 4 Central Michigan.
Oklahoma will play Liberty (37-21) on Friday in the opening round of the double-elimination at newly constructed Condrun Ballpark in Gainesville. Florida (39-22) will host Central Michigan (42-17) in the other first-round game. As the nation’s 13th-ranked team, Florida was selected as one of the 16 NCAA Regional locations.
Liberty, making its third consecutive appearance in an NCAA Regional, finished second in the Atlantic Sun Conference. This will be a relatively new experience for Sooner baseball as OU has never played Florida or Liberty in its history. The Sooners do have a history with the Central Michigan Chippewas, however, but if they do meet each other in the Gainesville Regional it will be the first time since 1992. OU is 9-3 all-time against Central Michigan.
Oklahoma enters NCAA postseason action ranked 19th in RPI. The Sooners are 18-12 against teams ranked in the top 50 in RPI. That is the third most top-50 wins in the country this season.
Oklahoma is making its 39th NCAA Regional appearance and is 86-76 all-time in NCAA Tournament games. The Sooners have made it to the College World Series 10 time and have won two national championships, in 1951 and 1994.