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OU baseball in NCAA Tournament Charlottesville Regional: Get to know Sooners' foes

NORMAN — The Sooners are back in the field of the 64.

After reaching the College World Series' championship round last season, OU is set to begin its NCAA Tournament run this season with an appearance in the Charlottesville Regional. The double-elimination round is hosted by Virginia, which is the seventh overall team in the tournament.

Third-seeded OU will face second-seeded East Carolina at 6 p.m. Friday. The winner will then face the winner of Virginia and fourth-seeded Army at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Here's a look at OU's regional competitors:

More: NCAA baseball regionals 2023: Bracket, seeds, schedule times for 2023 tournament

Outfielder Bryce Madron and the OU baseball open NCAA Tournament play Friday night against East Carolina in Charlottesville, Va.
Outfielder Bryce Madron and the OU baseball open NCAA Tournament play Friday night against East Carolina in Charlottesville, Va.

No. 1 Virginia

Record: 45-12 (19-11 ACC)

NCAA Tournament history: 20th appearance, third consecutive (62-44 record)

Leading hitter: Virginia is led by Kyle Teel, the ACC's Player of the Year. The junior catcher has recorded 60 RBIs and a team-high 94 runs on .414 hitting so far this season.

Leading pitcher: Virginia's ace is junior Connelly Early, who began his career at Army. The left-handed pitcher boasts a 10-2 record this season with a 3.39 ERA, and he has a team-high 80 strikeouts to his name in 69 innings pitched.

OU's all-time record vs. Virginia: 3-2

Short hops: The Cavaliers know how to hit the baseball. Virginia is batting .334 as a team this season, which ranks first in the nation. Teel leads the way with a .414 batting average, but Griff O'Ferrall (.393), Ethan Anderson (.377) and Ethan O'Donnell (.377) are also threats at the plate.

More: Why this season is 'special' for OU pitcher Braxton Douthit

No. 2 East Carolina

Record: 45-17 (18-6 AAC)

NCAA Tournament history: 33rd appearance, fifth consecutive (47-67 record)

Leading hitter: East Carolina's most dangerous hitter is Josh Moylan. The junior first baseman has a team-high 66 RBIs to go along with 52 runs to his name this season on .302 hitting.

Leading pitcher: Sophomore Trey Yesavage leads East Carolina on the mound. The right-handed pitcher is 6-1 this season with a 2.80 ERA, and he has racked up 98 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings pitched.

OU's all-time record vs. East Carolina: OU has never played East Carolina.

Short hops: East Carolina has reached the Super Regional in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments, although it hosted the regional round in each of those instances. The Pirates haven't won a road regional since 2016, which was the Charlottesville Regional.

More: How junior college transfer Dakota Harris became an 'impact player' for OU baseball

No. 4 Army

Record: 38-16 (21-4 Patriot League)

NCAA Tournament history: 11th appearance, fifth consecutive (4-20 record)

Leading hitter: Patriot League Player of the Year Kevin Dubrule is Army's biggest threat at the plate. The senior shortstop has recorded a team-high 68 RBIs to go along with 52 runs on .411 hitting this season.

Leading pitcher: Army also boasts the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year in Tanner Gresham. The right-handed junior is 5-3 this season with a 2.84 ERA.

OU's all-time record vs. Army: 1-0

Short hops: Army has a deep enough bullpen to be competitive in the NCAA Tournament. The Knights have a team ERA of 4.11, which ranks 12th in the nation. Robbie Buecker (2.84 ERA), Mike Ruggieri (2.86) and Gresham (2.90) are all capable of delivering strong performances.

More: How Bryce Madron's time with the Savannah Bananas prepared him for OU baseball

Charlottesville Regional

Friday's games at Disharoon Park:

● No. 7 Virginia (45-12) vs. Army West Point (38-16), 11 a.m. (ESPN+)

● East Carolina (45-17) vs. Oklahoma (31-26), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: How to watch OU baseball in NCAA Tournament Charlottesville Regional