Oklahoma wins 5-1 to oust Texas A&M from the College World Series

The Oklahoma Sooners advanced to the championship round of the College World Series Wednesday afternoon with a 5-1 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies in Omaha, Neb.

Jimmy Crooks helped the Sooners start fast by belting a three-run homer in the first inning. After that, right-handed pitcher David Sandlin dominated the Aggies, ousting them from the CWS with a powerful seven-inning performance.

Sandlin yielded only a run on five hits and struck out 12. The only run for A&M came in the sixth on a solo homer by former UTSA standout Dylan Rock.

It wasn’t nearly enough for the Aggies, as the Sooners moved on to the title round. Oklahoma will play either Ole Miss or Arkansas on Sunday to open a best-of-three set for the national title.

A&M will transition into the offseason coming off perhaps the best season in school history. In coach Jim Schlossnagle’s first year as coach, A&M finished 44-20.

The Aggies picked up momentum during Southeastern Conference play, claiming consecutive series victories over Kentucky, Georgia, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Entering the NCAA tournament as the No. 5 overall seed, the Aggies won the College Station regional when they swept to three straight victories, knocking off Oral Roberts, Louisiana and TCU.

In the Super Regionals, also played in College Station, A&M claimed a pair of one-run victories over the Louisville Cardinals to take a five-game winning streak into the CWS.

The streak ended last Friday on opening day in Omaha, as the Sooners knocked out Aggies’ starter Nathan Dettmer early in a 13-8 victory.

Undeterred, A&M moved into the losers bracket and domintated Texas 10-2 before beating Notre Dame 5-1.

Against the Irish, Dettmer, from San Antonio’s Johnson High School, pitched seven shutout innings in the historic win, as it was the first time in school history that the Aggies had won two games in one CWS.

The win sent them to the semifinals, where they needed two straight victories over the Sooners to advance. Sandlin and the OU bullpen just didn’t let it happen. The Sooners limited the Aggies to only six hits.

A&M outfielder Jordan Thompson, a junior from Boerne Champion, enjoyed a standout CWS. In four games, he finished four for 10 at the plate with five RBIs. He also walked four times and stole two bases.

The Sooners didn’t let Thompson get going on Wednesday, though, as they held him hitless in three at bats.

Boerne state of mind: A&M’s Thompson, UT’s Hodo to play in the College World Series

The San Antonio area and the state of Texas will be represented in both games on opening day of the College World Series. Oklahoma will take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday at 1 p.m., followed in the night game by the Texas Longhorns against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 6.

Expected starters in the center field for both the Aggies and the Longhorns are names familiar to fans in Boerne, a baseball hotbed north of San Antonio.

Jordan Thompson, a former standout with the Boerne Champion High School Chargers, plays center for the Aggies. Douglas Hodo III, formerly of the Boerne High Greyhounds, patrols center and bats leadoff for the Longhorns.

On Saturday, former San Antonio Madison High School multi-sport standout Jalen Battles is expected to start at shortstop for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Stanford will meet Arkansas in the first game at 1 p.m. In the 6 p.m. slot, Ole Miss will take on Auburn.

Both Thompson and Battles were teammates in 2020 for the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio. The Chanclas played that summer in the Texas Collegiate League. They were a team made up largely of players from the San Antonio area looking to stay sharp in the first summer of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Hodo, it is his second straight trip to the CWS. Last year, he played right field for the Longhorns, who finished with a 3-2 record and in a tie for third place in the tournament. This season, Hodo hit for a .319 average, with 25 doubles and 10 home runs. Both Thompson (.245) and Battles (.293) are making their CWS debuts.

Besides Thompson, Texas A&M will have another San Antonio connection in left fielder Dylan Rock, who played four seasons for the UTSA Roadrunners through 2021 before transferring to play as a grad student this year under first-year A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle. Rock has been a mainstay in the middle of the Aggies’ lineup, hitting .332 with 18 home runs.

College World Series
Friday through June 26, at Charles Schwab Stadium, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Friday’s schedule

Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M, 1 p.m.
Texas vs. Notre Dame, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule

Stanford vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Ole Miss vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.

San Antonio ties

Players from the San Antonio area on rosters of teams that have clinched berths in the College World Series:

Texas A&M

Rody Barker, OF-C, graduate transfer from Kerrville Tivy, New Mexico Junior College. Barker played eight games and batted .200.

Nathan Dettmer, pitcher, sophomore from Johnson. Dettmer has appeared in 17 games, all starts. He has fashioned a 5-2 record, with a 4.75 ERA.

Alex Magers, pitcher, sophomore from D’Hanis. Magers has appeared in eight games, all out of the bullpen. He has a 5.59 ERA.

Austin Stracener, INF, freshman from New Braunfels Canyon. Stracener played in six games. He hit .250.

Jordan Thompson, OF, junior from Boerne Champion, Incarnate Word, Grayson College. Thompson hit .245 in 43 games. He delivered five home runs and 26 RBIs. With a starter’s role in the playoffs, Thompson has belted two home runs.


Douglas Hodo III, center field, a redshirt sophomore from Boerne. Hodo played 67 games and hit .319. A power threat, he also contributed 10 home runs and 25 doubles.

Travis Sthele, pitcher, redshirt freshman from Reagan. Sthele made 21 appearances and started three games. In fashioning a 3-1 record and a 6.03 ERA, he struck out 32 and walked 19 in 34 and 1/3 innings.

Sam Walbridge, pitcher, redshirt sophomore from Saint Mary’s Hall. Walbridge has made three appearances, pitching 1 and 1/3 innings with a 0.00 ERA.


Jalen Battles, shortstop, a senior from Madison High School, McLennan Community College. Battles has started for two straight years, narrowly missing out on the CWS last year when his No. 1-ranked teammates lost in the super regionls. He is a .293 hitter with 10 homers and 44 RBI.

No. 14 Louisiana Tech sweeps doubleheader from UTSA

Parker Bates slammed a walk-off, 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday to propel the 14th-ranked Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to a 10-7 victory and a doubleheader sweep over the UTSA Roadrunners.

In the Conference USA series being played at Ruston, La., Louisiana Tech leads two games to one going into the Sunday afternoon finale.

The Roadrunners took another successful swipe at one of the nation’s best teams Friday night when they downed the Bulldogs, 7-5. Arturo Guajardo got the last three outs with two runners on base for the save.

In the first game of Saturday’s twin-bill, Louisiana Tech bounced back behind pitcher Ryan Jennings, who hurled a complete-game, seven-inning three hitter in a 4-1 victory. Hunter Wells and Bates delivered run-scoring singles in a four-run fourth.

Jennings escaped a jam in the sixth when he allowed a two-out double to Dylan Rock and then struck out power-hitting Nick Thornquist to end the inning.

In the second game, the Roadrunners had their chances to split the doubleheader but couldn’t hold on to a pair of leads. They held a 3-0 edge in the second inning. They were up 4-2 in the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, the momentum swung in favor of the Bulldogs, who scored five runs. Not to be outdone, the Roadrunners added three in the top of the seventh to make it 7-7.

When the game went to extra innings, UTSA couldn’t score in its half of the eighth. From there, the Roadrunners handed the ball to Guajardo, who got into trouble immediately. He walked Taylor Young. Then Hunter Wells singled, putting runners at first and second and bringing up Bates.

Bates, a fifth-year senior from Tyler, pulled a ball over the right field wall to win it.

Louisiana Tech’s resilience spoiled what could have been a big day for the Roadrunners. Coming into Saturday, UTSA had won three of its last five — all against Top 25 competition. They had split four games against Old Dominion last weekend in San Antonio and then had won the opener against LA Tech, a team viewed as likely to play in the NCAA tournament.

Tech will host the C-USA tournament, scheduled for May 26-30. Tech also is under consideration to host an NCAA first-weekend regional the following weekend. UTSA, in turn, likely needs to win the C-USA tourney title to nail down its first NCAA berth since 2013.


UTSA 22-23, 14-16
Louisiana Tech 35-14, 21-8


No. 4 Tennessee rallied in the bottom of the ninth on a Max Ferguson 3-run homer to down top-ranked Arkansas, 8-7, at Knoxville. The win squares the three-game series between SEC heavyweights at 1-1.

No. 2 Vanderbilt, behind starting pitcher Jack Leiter, routed 18th-ranked Ole Miss, 13-2, in Oxford. SEC series is tied 1-1 going into Sunday’s finale.

Unranked Missouri notched a 16-8 road victory to win the SEC series 2-1 against No. 3 Mississippi State, in Starkville.

Cal Conley and Dru Baker hit grand slams as No. 7 Texas Tech won on the road in the Big 12 at unranked Oklahoma, 15-2. The series is tied 1-1 going into Sunday’s finale.

Drama kings: UTSA beats FIU, 5-4, in 10 innings

Relief ace Derek Craft struck out five in two and a third innings to earn the victory for the Roadrunners. (Photo by Jerry Briggs)

Just call them drama kings for a day.

Leading by three runs on Sunday afternoon, the UTSA Roadrunners allowed the FIU Golden Panthers to score once in the seventh and twice in the eighth to tie the score.

And then, just as it seemed that the Panthers might steal another Conference USA baseball victory in San Antonio, relief pitching ace Derek Craft put a stop it.

Craft struck out five in two-plus innings of scoreless relief, setting the stage for a two-out, 10th-inning rally and a 5-4 win for the Roadrunners.

After Dylan Rock’s single scored Ben Brookover from third, UTSA had emerged with two victories in the three-game series and renewed hope for a strong finish to the season.

UTSA players stormed the field after Rock’s RBI single to left, celebrating a win that boosted the Roadrunners (21-17 overall, 9-8 in conference) into fourth place in the C-USA standings.

“The later we get in the season, any victories are good victories, especially as you inch your way toward the conference tournament,” UTSA coach Jason Marshall said. “But the margins in our league are so slim. From top to bottom, pretty much anybody can beat anybody on a given day.

“Just proud of our resiliency to, one, give up the lead but, two, just hang tough and continue to get outs. Derek Craft just kind of hung in there, threw some zeroes up and gave us a chance to get to that moment.

“And then just proud of Dylan Rock, a freshman, for stepping in there and getting the big hit.”

UTSA’s Ben Brookover executes a head-first slide into third base with a second-inning triple. (Photo by Jerry Briggs)

With two out in the bottom of the 10th and nobody on, Brookover stepped to the plate for the Roadrunners.

Marshall, in the third-base coach’s box, shouted some encouragement at the senior from Reagan: “Get us a double, Ben.”

Brookover promptly obliged by powering a 2-1 fast ball from Tyler Myrick to the base of the fence in center field.

As he pulled into second standing up, UTSA was in business.

With the game on the line and Rock at the plate, a wild pitch from Myrick skipped to the back-stop, allowing Brookover to take third.

At that point, Rock slapped a 2-2 fastball into left field with some top-spin, bringing Brookover home for the winner.

“Coming into today, we knew it was kind of a must win,” said Brookover, who had two doubles and a triple. “We knew that if we won, we’d be in or around fourth place, and if we lost we’d be in (or) around eighth place, so a lot of guys had the mentality that this was a must win.

“It got a little sketchy at the end, but we definitely took care of business.”

FIU starter Nick MacDonald pitched well, striking out six in 5 and 1/3 innings. But he tired at the end, giving up three runs in the sixth and leaving the game with UTSA leading 4-1. (Photo by Jerry Briggs)

UTSA-FIU series at a glance

With a revised schedule, the Roadrunners and Panthers played two nine-inning games on Friday, with UTSA winning the opener 12-4 and then dropping the nightcap, 2-1.

Brookover homered in the first game and drove in four. For the series, he produced four hits, scored five runs and had five RBIs.

Craft, a pro prospect, pitched in all three games.

In Game 2, he took the loss after giving up a game-winning homer to Logan Allen in the eighth. But by Sunday, he earned redemption and a victory that improved his record to 3-3.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander, with a fastball clocked at 96 mph on the radar gun, worked a combined five innings in the three games and allowed one run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two.


UTSA 21-17, 9-8
FIU 18-21, 8-10

Coming up

UTSA hosts intra-city Division I foe Incarnate Word in a non-conference game on Tuesday night. The Roadrunners return to C-USA competition on Friday with the first of three games at Middle Tennessee.

UTSA’s Derek Craft fires a pitch in the eighth inning against the FIU Golden Panthers. (Photo by Jerry Briggs)