Southern Cal 9, Oklahoma 4
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ All-America Geoff Jenkins made sure Southern Cal got off to a quick start.
Jenkins homered and had an RBI double in a seven-run second inning Sunday night that lifted Southern Cal over defending champion Oklahoma 9-4 in a College World Series elimination game.
``We came out and got some good hits early,″ Jenkins said. ``We got up on them and got confidence at the plate. And Randy (Flores) threw a gem.″
Flores (12-3) scattered 11 hits and left nine Sooners on base.
``My heart was thumping,″ Flores said. ``Even though the ball was getting hit hard, the seven-run inning added to my confidence.″
The only other time the Sooners (42-16) went home winless in nine CWS appearances was 1976.
Sixth-seeded Southern Cal (46-20), in the tournament for the first time since winning the last of its 11 national titles in 1978, moves to Tuesday’s elimination game against No. 2 Florida State (53-15), which lost to Miami 4-2 Sunday.
A mental mistake set up the Trojans’ big second inning after Jenkins led off with his 20th homer over the 28-foot wall beyond the 408-foot sign in dead center field. Sooner starter Ryan Minor then failed to cover first on a grounder wide of the bag. His twin brother Damon fielded the ball but had no one to throw to and Jacques Jones was safe with a single. Two outs later Ernie Diaz hit his seventh homer.
``I make that play and we win the game,″ said Ryan Minor, an honorable mention All-America for the Oklahoma basketball team. ``I didn’t do my job. Damon made a great play.″
Was Rachels followed with the first homer of his career to chase Minor (1-1). Dax Powell came on but gave up a walk and consecutive RBI doubles to Paul Cruz and Gabe Alvarez. Jenkins greeted Oklahoma’s third pitcher of the inning, Toby Wilmot, with another RBI double before the inning ended.
``Throw out the second inning and it was a close ball game,″ Oklahoma coach Larry Cochell said. ``That’s the one that did us in. One play never wins the ballgame, but it was worth six runs.″
Oklahoma scored on Tristan Paul’s RBI bloop single in the first and on a sacrifice fly by Bobby Brown and RBI single by Javier Flores in the second.
Jenkins made it 8-3 with a RBI single in the fourth.
Randy Flores escaped with only one run in the sixth when he gave up two singles and two walks, including a bases-loaded pass to Javier Flores. Greg Walbridge got the run back for the Trojans in the seventh with his second homer of the series and eighth of the season.