MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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May 27, 2013

Oklahoma makes plans for another Virginia trip

NORMAN – The Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners are headed to the Blacksburg Regional for the 2013 NCAA baseball championship. Oklahoma automatically qualified for the tournament after winning the conference championship Sunday and earned the No. 2 seed in the regional.

The Sooners will face 3-seed Coastal Carolina at noon Friday at English Field on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. It will be the first meeting between the two programs.

It’s Oklahoma’s 36th NCAA appearance overall and sixth consecutive. The Sooners swept the field at the Big 12 tournament last week to claim their first crown since the conference’s inaugural season in 1997. The Sooners enter the regional with an overall record of 40-19 – the team’s fifth consecutive 40-win season, which is matched only by Florida State and Rice entering the postseason.

The visit to Virginia for an NCAA regional will be OU’s third in the past four seasons. The Sooners traveled through the Charlottesville Regional en route to their 2010 College World Series appearance and the same site last season for a Super Regional berth.

Coastal Carolina (37-21) earned an at-large bid from the Big South Conference.

The host and regional’s top-seed Virginia Tech (38-20) takes on Connecticut (34-26)  at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Hokies fell to North Carolina in the ACC Championship game, while the Huskies claimed the Big East’s automatic bid by winning the conference tournament.

The winners will advance to play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday while the losers play at noon Saturday.

Oklahoma has faced both Virginia Tech and Connecticut once in its history, falling to the Hokies in 1978 and the Huskies in 2012.

Oklahoma is 76-67 in NCAA postseason play and has claimed 11 regional titles and 10 College World Series Appearances, including championships in 1951 and 1994.

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