Taken to the Max

It always seems like it's seniors that come through in situations like this, and on Saturday evening in Blacksburg, center fielder Max White decided he'd be that guy.

In a 3-3 tie in the top of the 12th, White delivered the go-ahead RBI triple to push OU to a 5-3 victory over the fourth-seeded Connecticut Huskies and advance to the regional final Sunday afternoon.

The job of Sooner reliever Kyle Hayes can't be overstated, either.

Hayes arrived into a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the 10th and induced an inning-ending double play ball with the winning run in scoring position.

He escaped his own danger again in the 11th with yet another winning run in scoring position.

And then, just for the heck of it, he worked in and out of another jam in the 12th en route to picking up his first victory of the season.

Hayes got a 5-3 game-ending, double play lineout that sealed the deal.

The Sooners took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first when second baseman Hector Lorenzana came through with a two-out, RBI single and catcher Anthony Hermelyn followed with a two-run single of his own.

But the Huskies chipped away a little at a time.

They got one in the bottom half of the first on a sacrifice fly, another in the sixth when third baseman Vinny Sienna singled up the middle, and at that point it was 3-2.

The Sooners carried that lead into the eighth, when things broke down.

Shortstop Jack Mayfield threw errantly to allow a UConn leadoff man aboard and escape up to second.

A wild pitch from Sooner reliever Ralph Garza let him move up to third, and he later scored on an RBI groundout that tied it at three apiece and ultimately sent the game to extras.

OU had a golden opportunity to go ahead after that, sitting with the bases loaded and just one out in the top of the 11th, but third baseman Garrett Carey grounded into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play ball, or things could have ended sooner.

OU now awaits the winner of tomorrow's elimination game between UConn and No. 1 Virginia Tech, needing just one victory to advance to the Super Regional round.

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