Stillwater Super Regional: Andrew Morales Shutout Leads UC Irvine To Omaha

Stillwater Super Regional STILLWATER, Okla. – University of California Irvine senior Andrew Morales threw a complete game shut out to lead the Anteaters to the series clinching 1-0 win in the Stillwater Super Regional over Oklahoma State. Morales struck out eight Cowboys while scattering five hits and two walks over nine innings pitched to get the Anteaters to the College World Series in Omaha.

Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday chose to start senior righty Vince Wheeland, who has been used as a reliever all season, in this must-win game at Reynolds Stadium. The Anteaters would get three hits in the first inning against Wheeland which would prove to be the difference in the game that turned into a pitcher’s duel as UC Irvine went with their ace Morales.

Oklahoma State’s senior center fielder Saulyer Saxon drew a lead off walk and was sacrificed to second to give the Cowboys a runner in scoring position with one out. Senior Tanner Krietemeier struck out and junior Gage Green grounded out to first to end the threat.

Three more times in the game would the Cowboys get a runner to second base only to see Morales retire the remaining hitters in the inning to shut down the scoring threat. On the opposing side of the hill, Wheeland was equally stingy giving up just one earned run in the game and that came in the first inning of play.

With one out, junior short stop Chris Robago hit a single and junior first baseman Connor Spencer followed with another single to right to put two runners on base in the first inning. Wheeland got catcher Jerry McClanahan to fly out to left field and was near to escaping the inning unscathed when red shirt sophomore designated hitter Jonathan Munoz smacked a double to left field that scored Robago to grab the 1-0 lead for the Anteaters.

The Anteaters attempted to add to the lead in the second but red shirt junior Justin Castro was caught in a run down trying to steal home to end the inning. UC Irvine would get a runner to second again in the third but Wheeland stopped the scoring threat and ending the inning with a strike out and a ground out.

The story of the night was the brilliant performance of Morales as he retired 14 of the last 15 Cowboys he faced to end the game including a run of sitting down the final 10 hitters he faced.

The Anteaters clinch the Super Regional series 2-0 and joins Texas and Louisville for a trip to the College World Series in Omaha.

About the Author

Mark West
Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MarkWestCBC Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting. Follow on Twitter @MarkWestCBC