Game 2 is Sunday (2 p.m., ESPN) and a third game if necessary would be played Monday (6 p.m., ESPN).
Standing in the way of the Rebels’ quest for its first national championship are the Sooners (45-22), winners of 12 of 14 games during the postseason, including a Big 12 Tournament championship.
Here are five things Ole Miss fans should know about Oklahoma ahead of the CWS final:
Peaking on the mound
The Sooners’ top two starters are each coming off career performances. Redshirt freshman Cade Horton allowed just five hits, recorded a career-best 11 strikeouts and threw a career-high 100 pitches in six innings to beat Notre Dame on June 19.
Horton’s stellar outing was followed by an even better performance from redshirt sophomore David Sandlin, who threw seven innings and fanned a career-high 12.
While the Rebels may not have to face either in Game 1, they will not be able to avoid them once the stakes are at its highest.
A 2-4 punch
Two of Oklahoma’s top four hitters are riding 17-game hitting streaks. Redshirt sophomore shortstop Peyton Graham hits second and boasts a .344 batting average. He leads the Sooners in home runs (20), RBIs (71) and slugging percentage (.655).
Redshirt senior Tanner Tredaway bats cleanup and has a team-high .379 batting average, and his 65 RBIs are second-best in the lineup. Tredaway has been about as reliable as anyone, playing in all but one of the Sooners’ games this season.
Similar records against common opponents
Oklahoma is 5-3 against SEC opponents with wins against both Texas A&M and Florida and an opening day victory over Auburn with losses to Tennessee, LSU and the Gators.
The Rebels are 7-6 against the same group, making for an interesting matchup of teams with similar outcomes against shared opponents.
Active on the bases
Oklahoma’s 145 stolen bases are fourth in Division I. Graham and Tredaway lead the way, with 34 and 24 stolen bases, respectively.
Redshirt sophomore outfielder Kendall Pettis is the third player on the team with at least 20 stolen bases to go along with three others with at least 10. Ole Miss fans can expect quite a few attempts on catcher Hayden Dunhurst.
History favors the Sooners
The two previous times Oklahoma started the College World Series 3-0, it went on to win the national championship on both occasions (1951, 1994), the only national titles in program history.