, Muskogee, OK

June 3, 2013

Best in Blacksburg: With title, Oklahoma continues Virginia playoff magic

Associated Press

— BLACKSBURG, Va.  — The Oklahoma Sooners feel right at home in Virginia.

For the third time in four seasons, the Sooners advanced in the NCAA tournament by winning in Virginia. This time, they knocked off Virginia Tech 10-4 in the NCAA Blacksburg regional championship game to advance to next weekend’s super regional round.

Hector Lorenzana had two hits and three RBIs, and Max White had two hits and an RBI to carry the Sooners (43-19), who will face LSU in Baton Rouge, La., for the right to go to the College World Series.

“We’ve played in Virginia and we’ve found success in this state,” said White, who was the most outstanding player in the regional after going 8-for-16 with four RBI in three games. “I don’t know what it is. We even brought in the same bus driver that we had the past two times. We just find luck in Virginia, I guess.”

Oklahoma, which beat Virginia in last year’s regional in Charlottesville, Va., and beat the Cavaliers in the 2010 super regional in Charlottesville, scored four runs on five hits in the sixth inning and took advantage of two Virginia Tech errors. White and Lorenzana had RBI singles in the inning.

Virginia Tech (40-22) scored a run in the sixth to cut the Sooners’ lead to 4-3, but had two runners thrown out at home in the inning. White ended it when he threw out Virginia Tech’s Andrew Rash, who was trying to score on Chad Morgan’s single.

“I thought it (the throw) was going to sail on me a little bit, but it ended up getting in there,” White said. “They had two guys in scoring position and we needed to keep the momentum. I didn’t want them tying it up, and that run would have tied it up. I saw the ball come up the middle, and I charged hard. Luckily it was on line.

“I normally don’t get very high or very low, and we’ve played in extra-inning ball games and things like that,” Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said. “But I was fired up. I thought I was going to have to run out to center field because Max wouldn’t come off the field fast enough for me to get with him.

“To not let them tie the game was very important. I felt if they tied the game, then I thought the momentum swing would be huge. If we had the lead, we could play our game. Max’s play was absolutely the play of the game.”

In the ninth, the Sooners put things away, scoring six runs, including two on a single by Jack Mayfield, who was 3-for-5, and two on a double by Lorenzana. A throwing error by Morgan, Virginia Tech’s catcher, didn’t help the Hokies, who also committed four errors.

“If you don’t play clean baseball on a Tuesday or in a regional final, you’re not going to win a game,” Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes said. “Credit Oklahoma, they played clean. We didn’t execute a hit and run, and they executed a hit and run. For the most part, they made the routine plays, and we had trouble doing that.”

Jake Fisher (3-2) got the win, giving up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Eddie Campbell (2-5) took the loss.