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June 3, 2012CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Max White lined an RBI single to center field in the top of the 10th inning to drive in the game-winning run as second-seeded Oklahoma slipped past fourth-seeded Army, 2-1, in an elimination game at the 2012 NCAA Charlottesville Regional Sunday at Davenport Field.
The Sooners, who were held in check throughout the contest, were able to scratch out a run in the top of the 10th as Caleb Bushyhead singled, moved to second base on Tanner Toal's sacrifice bunt and scored when White laced a line drive to center field.
Army finishes its 2012 campaign with a 41-15 record. Oklahoma (39-23) advances to play the loser of the Virginia-Appalachian State contest in another elimination game this evening.
Both starters engaged in a classic pitcher's duel through seven innings, but neither hurler figured in the decision. Army's Logan Leeallowed just one run on two hits over seven-plus innings. He struck out four and walked four. Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray, meanwhile, yielded one run on five hits in seven innings of work. He struck out six and walked two.
Steven Okert (9-7) pitched three innings of scoreless relief to earn the win for Oklahoma. Gunnar Carroll (2-1) was saddled with the loss after permitting one run on three hits over three frames.
J.T. Watkinswent 2-for-4 at the plate to pace Army's six-hit attack. Bushyhead was 2-for-4 to spark Oklahoma's five-hit output. White finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
"It was a good ballgame, and my hat goes off to Oklahoma," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "We knew that Oklahoma was going to be a ballclub that we would have to help offensively. We had to throw strikes and compete and take care of the baseball, and I thought we did that. Logan (Lee) threw the ball well, but we needed to produce more offensively.
"Those are the types of ballgames that can go either way, and when you come out on the short end of that, you can live with it. Yesterday was tough because we didn't play well. I thought we played well today. We didn't come out with a win, but that's baseball. I'm proud of our guys."
Oklahoma's first quality scoring chance came in the top of the second inning when the Sooners stranded runners on first and second. OU failed to put a runner into scoring position in the next three frames, though, as Lee faced just one over the minimum over the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Army's best early opportunity was in the bottom of the third when Matthew Carter got thrown out trying to score from second base on Daniel Cortes' base hit. Carter walked leading off the frame, moved to second base on Alex Jensen's sacrifice bunt and attempted to score when Cortes grounded a single through the right side of the infield. Oklahoma right fielder Cody Reine fielded the grounder in shallow right field and threw a strike to home plate to get Carter for the final out of the inning.
Army broke through in the fifth inning when Zach Price delivered an RBI single to give the Black Knights a 1-0 lead. Harold Earls began the rally with a leadoff single, moved to second base on Carter's sacrifice bunt and scored when Price lofted a two-out base hit to center field.
Oklahoma manufactured a run in the top of the sixth to knot the score at 1-1. White walked leading off the inning, moved to second base on Erik Ross' sacrifice bunt, advanced to third base when Lee was called for a balk and scored on Evan Mistich's RBI groundout.
Neither team was able to push across the go-ahead run over the final three innings, leading to White's heroics in the 10th.
Army threatened to score three times over the final four frames, putting a runner on second base in the seventh, ninth and 10th innings. Watkins singled and got sacrificed to second base in the seventh, before being stranded there. In the ninth, the Black Knights had runners on first and second with only one out, before Earls popped up and Cody Murtle struck out to end the threat. Pinch-hitter Andrew Johnson reached on an error leading off the 10th, and pinch-runner Clayton Mosley was advanced to second base on a sacrifice before consecutive groundouts ended the game.
Game Notes: Army moves to 0-1 all-time versus Oklahoma ... today's contest was the first-ever meeting between the two schools ... the Black Knights are now 3-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... it marked Army's first extra-inning game at the NCAA Tournament ... the Black Knights posted a 4-1 record in extra-inning games this season ... Army recorded a program-record 41 victories this season ... Army wore its white uniforms with black caps for today's game ... Daniel Cortes tied the Academy single-season record when he drew his 40th walk of the year in the first inning ... Logan Lee tied the single-season school record by starting his 15th game of the year ... Zach Price finished the season on a nine-game hitting streak.
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