Rohlinger homers to lift Sooners past Houston

Updated: June 4, 2006, 12:31 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma's Ryan Rohlinger hit a 3-run home run and had a career-high five RBIs to lead the Sooners to an 8-6 win over Houston on Saturday in an elimination game of the NCAA baseball tournament.

Oklahoma (41-20) will play TCU, which lost to Wichita State 18-8 Saturday night, in another elimination game Sunday.

Rohlinger's 11th home run of the season came in the third inning and was followed by Kevin Smith's solo home run.

Steven Guerra (11-3) pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Sooners, giving up three runs on four hits. He had a no-hitter going until the fifth inning, when Houston's Isa Garcia extended his 10-game hitting streak with a single.

Guerra lost the shutout in the eighth inning after Matt Weston's two-run home run. Brad Lincoln followed Weston's home run with a solo home run, giving the Cougars back-to-back home runs for the third time this season.

Guerra finished with eight strikeouts, tying his career high, set May 17, 2005, against Northern Colorado. His 11 wins are the most for an Oklahoma pitcher since 1998, when Geoff Geary notched 13 victories. Guerra is tied for ninth on the Sooners' single-season wins list.

Houston (39-22) threatened in the ninth inning after Jake Stewart hit a 3-run home run over the left-field wall to make the score 8-6. Stewart's seventh home run followed singles by Matt Farrington and Bryan Pounds.

John Brownell replaced Oklahoma reliever Will Savage and picked up his second save of the season.

Ricky Hargrove (8-6) started for the Cougars, but gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He was replaced in the fourth inning by Shea Hancock, who allowed a bases-loaded single by Rohlinger that brought home two runs. Rohlinger finished 3-for-5.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press