Wednesday, 29 June 2022 15:05


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NORMAN – Oklahoma head baseball coach Skip Johnson was named 2022 Central Region Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association after leading the Sooners to a campaign that surpassed the expectations of many prior to the season.
In his fifth season at the helm, Johnson guided Oklahoma to the Big 12 Championship title, the program's 11th NCAA Men's College World Series appearance and a national runner-up finish in the MCWS Finals. OU became only the second Big 12 school to participate in an MCWS Championship Series, and the first since Texas in 2009.
The Sooners ended their season with a 45-24 record, including a 27-12 mark since April 12, and a 15-9 mark in Big 12 Conference play. Oklahoma, which was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll, tied for second in the regular season league standings. OU posted a 12-4 record after the end of the regular season and an 8-4 mark in the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma won its final six series of the regular season, then tore through the Big 12 Championship with a perfect 4-0 record, won the NCAA Gainesville Regional with a 3-1 mark and won the NCAA Blacksburg Super Regional 2-1 before advancing through MCWS bracket play in three games. In total, OU spent the entire postseason (and the final six weeks of the season overall) away from home, compiling a 14-5 record in that span.
A handful of players earned conference, regional and national recognition and the Sooners set several records or reached benchmarks for the first time in more than a decade, or in some case, more than 30 years.
Redshirt sophomore shortstop Peyton Graham was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America, D1Baseball and the NCWBA, a second-team All-American by the ABCA and a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, and was also a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award for top collegiate shortstop. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Jake Bennett was named a second-team All-American by D1Baseball and a third-team All-American by Perfect Game. Graduate closer Trevin Michael was named a second-team All-American by D1Baseball and a third-team All-American by the NCBWA. Redshirt sophomore catcher Jimmy Crooks and redshirt senior center fielder Tanner Tredaway earned ABCA Central All-Region honors. Six players earned Big 12 All-Conference honors.
Tredaway registered the program's second-most hits in a season (105), finishing shy of the single-season record of 118 set by Kevin Burdick in 1986. Redshirt sophomore first baseman Blake Robertson set a program record with his 69 walks this season, surpassing the mark (68) previously set by Terry Bogener in 1976. Freshman Jackson Nicklaus set an OU freshman record for walks (34) and finished second among freshman with his 11 home runs and 48 runs scored.
The Oklahoma pitching staff completed the 2022 campaign with a single-season school record 644 strikeouts, surpassing the previous program-best of 608 strikeouts set in 2018. The Sooners also notched 145 stolen bases, the most by an OU team since 1989 (168). Oklahoma's 73 home runs were the most in a season since the 2010 squad hit 105 homers.
OU's 45 victories in 2022 were its most since the 2010 season (50 wins). Johnson is 157-103 in five seasons at Oklahoma, including the 2020 campaign that was shortened after 18 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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