NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma’s baseball team, which won 10 of its last 14 games, is in the field of 64 for the 2005 NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Sooners (33-24) are a No. 3 seed in the regional at Oxford, Miss.
OU will meet No. 2 seed Southern Mississippi (41-19) in the first round at 3 p.m. Central. The Golden Eagles lost in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament to TCU, 13-7, last weekend.
“The coaching staff is extremely excited for these young men and I think it is a good draw for us,” said interim head coach Sunny Golloway. “Our student athletes have worked very hard to get into the NCAA Tournament. We felt like our run at the end of the season was something that would warrant us getting in and sure enough the committee has rewarded our team.
NCAA Regional Central
“We are going to work hard for the next two days at practice and we look forward to getting out there and playing in the NCAA Tournament.”
The other first-round match-up pits host Mississippi (44-18) vs. Maine (34-17) at 7 p.m.. Ole Miss is the top seed in the regional and Maine enters the tourney at No. 4. Maine is the lone automatic qualifier in the Oxford Regional as the winners of the America East Tournament. Ole Miss, the nation’s No. 5 overall seed, will be hosting its second consecutive regional.
The winner between Oklahoma and Southern Miss will face the Ole Miss-Maine winner on Saturday at 5 p.m., while the first-game losers will square off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“Southern Miss, our first draw, is a very good team from Conference USA and I know they are going to be there and represent themselves well,” added Golloway. “We are anxious to see what their personnel is like and scout them a bit. Ole Miss is another team that is playing very good right now and Maine is solid.”
Oklahoma rallied down the stretch to claim fifth-place in the Big 12 Conference. Four other Big 12 teams are in the NCAA field -- Nebraska, Baylor, Texas and Missouri. The Sooners will make theirr 29th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the fourth regional appearance in the last six years
In its last appearance in the NCAA Tournament, OU was seeded second and was eliminated from the 2004 Oklahoma City Regional with a 1-2 mark. The Sooners defeated Central Connecticut State and lost two games to UCLA.
Each of the four-team, double-elimination regionals will be played June 3-6. The winners of each regional will advance to the super regional round June 10-13.
The winner of the Oxford, Miss., regional advances to meet the winner of the Austin, Texas, regional in super regional action. The four teams at Austin are Texas, Quinnipiac, Miami of Ohio and Arkansas.
Since the NCAA expanded the field to 64 teams in 1999, OU has not advanced to a Super Regional. The eight winners of the super regionals will play in the College World Series, beginning June 17 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
Tickets for the Oxford Regional, which will be held at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field, can be obtained through the Ole Miss Athletics Ticket Office by visiting www.OleMissSports.com or calling (662) 915-7167 or 1-888-732-8587.
|2005 NCAA Oxford Regional Schedule||Time (CT)|
|Game 1: No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Southern Miss||3 p.m.|
|Game 2: No. 4 Maine vs. No. 1 Ole Miss||7 p.m.|
|Game 3: Game 2 Loser vs. Game 1 Loser||1 p.m.|
Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
|Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser||1 p.m.|
|Game 6: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner||5 p.m.|
|Game 7: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (*if necessary)||7 p.m.|