Oct. 19, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma baseball program released its 2001 schedule Thursday. The Sooners, who are coming off a 41-23 season last year including a NCAA Regional Tournament berth, open the season at home versus Oklahoma Baptist on Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park. OU is slated to face eight opponents that participated in NCAA Tournament action in 2000. Among the notable schedule highlights is a three-game series against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., February 9-11. The team will follow their trip to Alabama by traveling to San Diego, Calif., to play San Diego State, University of San Diego and Oregon State in the San Diego Tournament, February 16-18.

"I believe this year's schedule will be a challenging one for our club, but also be one that will be enjoyable for our fans as they will be able to watch us compete against some of the top teams in collegiate baseball," commented Head Coach Larry Cochell upon the schedule's release. "Our early trips to Alabama and the tournament in San Diego will allow us to face quality competition in preparation for a tough Big 12 Conference schedule."

OU's Big 12 Conference schedule presents several annual challenges each season and this year will be no exception. Last season, the league boasted five NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including Oklahoma, and had three teams listed among the final Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Top-25 polls. OU will face those three teams, Baylor, Texas and Nebraska, over consecutive weekends beginning Mar. 16 and ending April 1. Oklahoma finished third in the conference last year after posting a 20-10 league record and placed third in the Phillips 66/Big 12 Conference Tournament.

The Sooners will once again play several contests in the state's minor league baseball parks. National powerhouse Arizona State will battle with Oklahoma at the Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, April 18 at 7 p.m., and Tulsa's Drillers Stadium is scheduled to be the site for a match-up with Oral Roberts the following week on April 24 at 8 p.m. The annual Bedlam Series against Oklahoma State will once again feature Friday night's contest (May 11) at Drillers Stadium and the final two games at the Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark (May 12 & 13). The series attracted 31,412 fans over the three-game set in 2000.

The 2001 home schedule at L. Dale Mitchell Park will begin with three games to open the season. The Sooners will play Oklahoma Baptist on Feb. 2 before finishing the weekend with two games against Oklahoma City University (Feb. 3-4). Creighton, a 2000 NCAA Tournament team, travels to Norman for two games on Mar. 6 and 7. Other non-conference opponents include Arkansas, Centenary, Northwestern, Oral Roberts, TCU and Texas-Arlington. Big 12 Conference opponents Kansas, Iowa State, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Texas Tech are scheduled for three-game sets in Norman.

Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the upcoming season can contact the Oklahoma Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668 for further information.