CWS Post Wrap-Up Series: Day VI

OU pitcher Jeremy Erben

Now it's time for a write up on what became a very special, even unexpected finish for OU in 2010.

The Sooners' season ended after falling to the South Carolina Gamecocks 3-2 in 12 innings at the final College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium, but if you turn back the calendar about six months, this kind of ending didn't seem plausible.

OU, who finished the 2010 season 50-18, lost key members from last year's squad and had many questions to answer because just two positions, first and third base, had starters set in stone.

Because of all of the questions, three of the four major college baseball polls ranked the Sooners in the top 25, the highest ranking being No. 22, and almost everyone couldn't imagine OU finding its way to Omaha let alone winning 50 games.

Some people would even go as far as saying they'd disagree with you and laugh in your face if you admitted to believing the aforementioned two events was a realistic possibility.

Even after the Sooners got off to a good start, an embarrassing weekend sweep at the hands of the Texas Longhorns just about convinced everyone that OU wouldn't last too long after the spring semester ended.

The only people who thought the Sooners would have the season like they did were the ones who were donning the crimson and cream and sporting the OU logo on the diamond every day since the beginning of fall practices.

So how did the Sooners accomplish what they did this season? The answer is simple according to head coach Sunny Golloway, the players.

"But they're the answer to all those questions that we all had, even the coaching staff," he said. "It's been an amazing journey."

This season's Sooners is position-by-position not as good as the 2009 team that was eliminated during the Regional round, but this group succeeded more because each member bought into a common philosophy by playing his role no matter the situation.

"Unreal experience, with this group of guys, is it's a long season but one I'll remember for the rest of my life," said pitcher Jeremy Erben, who ended his OU career by throwing in all three games, including a four-inning scoreless outing, in the College World Series. "It was great."

Even though this year is over, the future is bright for the Sooners. They are returning many of their young players, and the non-senior MLB draftees, including third baseman Garrett Buechele and starting pitcher Zach Neal, haven't announced their plans for the future.

For now, the Sooners have to wait at least another year to accomplish the ultimate goal of dog piling at the College World Series. Their youth could help them get to that moment, but all that can be done is remember how OU made it to Omaha and surprised all of the doubters.

"And so it's been a great journey, and I know our guys have enjoyed it," Golloway said. "We've enjoyed it. We've enjoyed it with a relatively young club."

Week's agenda:

Monday: What to remember from Rosenblatt

Tuesday: Looking back at the final opening ceremonies (Slide show one and slide show two)

Wednesday: Part I of a behind the scenes look at OU's last trip to the ‘Blatt

Thursday: Part II of a behind the scenes look at OU's last trip to the ‘Blatt

Friday: Game highlights

Saturday: Just why it was so special for the Sooners to make it

Sunday: Why OU's season was more than satisfying by finishing at the ‘Blatt for the final time

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