Cade Horton still had something in the tank.
The redshirt freshman pitcher delivered a masterful performance in OU’s 6-2 win over Notre Dame on Sunday in the College World Series. Horton racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts in six innings pitched, but he started to lose some steam in the end.
After allowing a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning that cut OU’s lead to 5-2, Horton was met by head coach Skip Johnson on the mound for a chat.
Clearly it went well.
Johnson opted not to replace Horton, who needed one more out to end the inning, and that decision paid off. Horton faced Notre Dame’s Brooks Coetzee III on the next at-bat, and he had the senior retired on a 2-2 count.
That marked the end of the day for Horton, who let the OU bullpen shut out the last three innings to secure the victory.
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“I’ve told several people, one of the best first-year pitchers I know,” Johnson said of Horton. “It’s no different than watching a big leaguer, how fast (Horton) can pick up stuff. And I’m not saying he’s a big leaguer, by any means, but he will have that opportunity one day. “
After striking out five of the first 11 batters he faced, Horton got help from the Sooners’ bats late in the third inning.
The first inning came courtesy of Tanner Tredaway, who dug a slider and sent it into center field for an RBI single. Wallace Clark then delivered an RBI single from his own two batsmen later to give OU a 2-0 lead.
The Sooners continued to roll late in the fifth inning.
Clark made a run with a bunt, and a throwing error at first base allowed another Sooner to reach home. Jackson Nicklaus then added an RBI single that extended the lead to 5-0.
A two-run homer from Notre Dame’s David LaManna made it 5-2 in the top of the sixth inning, but OU answered down the frame.
With his dad, Chad Tredaway, watching from the stands on Father’s Day, Tanner Tredaway fired a shot down the middle for his second RBI single of the contest.
“I really like to keep it simple,” Tanner Tredaway said. “I just try to swing on good throws and not get out of my zone.”
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After a one-inning appearance by Jaret Godman, Trevin Michael had the final six outs on the mound.
Tanner Tredaway recorded two RBIs and two runs on 3-for-4 hits. Clark had two RBIs and a run while going 1 for 3 at the plate.
Peyton Graham also went 4 for 4 with two interceptions. He is the first player to record four hits and two interceptions in a CWS game since Barry Bonds in 1984.
OU will face the No. 5 seeded Texas A&M and Notre Dame winner on Wednesday at 1 p.m. As the only remaining undefeated team in their bracket, OU must lose twice to be eliminated.
With just one more win, the Sooners will advance to the College World Series championship round for the first time since winning the title in 1994.
“Our thing is, we want to prove people wrong and make a statement,” Tanner Tredaway said. “We want to do that here… We’re rolling right now, and we’re going to keep rolling.”
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Live updates from OU vs. Notre Dame
Follow updates from OU-Notre Dame:
Top first: Blake Robertson starts the game with a web gem
Notre Dame’s Ryan Cole threw a ball on the first pitch of the game, and Blake Robertson made the catch as he fell into the dugout.
Lower third: Sooners strike first
OU came on the scoreboard first with a pair of RBI singles from Tanner Tredaway and Wallace Clark to make it a 2-0 game.
Fifth down: Sooners stack it
After scoring two unearned runs on a Wallace Clark bunt, Jackson Nickaus extended OU’s lead to 5-0 with an RBI single.
Top sixth: Notre Dame steps onto the set
David LaManna hit a two-run homer that cut the deficit to 5-2.
Last sixth: Tredaway strikes again
Tredaway extended OU’s lead to 6-2 with his second RBI single of the day.
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