Sooner Duo Guides OU to Sixth Straight

NORMAN, Okla. -- While pitcher Michael Rocha was dealing on the hill, left fielder Max White was in the process of collecting a career-high hit total, as the Sooners (36-13, 13-9 Big 12) stifled the New Mexico Lobos in a 6-2 decision Friday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Rocha worked a shutout into the ninth inning--he was even perfect through five--before allowing a pair of runs, and he finished with a complete game, his Big 12 leading fifth on the season.

"I feel like it's something that I was taught early on and throughout high school, I never came out of a game," Rocha said. "Summer leagues...never came out of a game. I got here, and it was a little different for me. It was a longer game, and it took a little adjusting. I feel like, for the most part, a starter should be able to go the distance, and I just want to fill that role for my team."

In the meantime, White bashed three singles and ripped a double for a four-hit performance.

He also recorded a pair of RBI's, scored a run and stole a base.

And that's all it took for OU to secure the series opener, as the Sooners capitalized off a couple Lobo miscues early.

After center fielder Erik Ross led off the game with a single, right fielder Ricky Eisenberg laid down a sacrifice bunt, and New Mexico pitcher Rudy Jaramillo tossed an errant throw that allowed Ross to advance to third.

Moments later, Eisenberg stole second, then advanced to third on a bad throw by Lobo catcher Mitch Garver, and Ross stole home on the sequence.

Catcher Tyler Ogle plated Eisenberg on a groundout to short, and the Sooners led 2-0 after the first.

OU added one more in the fourth after White singled in the first of his two RBI's, bringing in designated hitter Evan Mistich, who was earlier hit by a pitch and stole second.

The Sooners took a 4-0 lead when third baseman Garrett Buechele doubled home White in the bottom of the seventh.

And OU put the nail in the coffin in the bottom of the eighth when White and first baseman Cameron Seitzer hit back-to-back doubles, and second baseman Cale Ellis brought home Seitzer to make it 6-0.

A pair of hits and a hit by pitch surrendered by Rocha in the top of the ninth prevented a complete game shutout, as Garver and first baseman D.J. Peterson each scored for New Mexico, but the Sooners were methodical in game one, nonetheless.

Games two and three are slated for Saturday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. (or 30 min after the doubleheader opener), respectively, before the series concludes with the final game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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