Final Bedlam Game Sunday at 5 p.m.

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 14, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 8 Oklahoma baseball team plays the final game of a three-game set in Bedlam Series presented by The Bank of Oklahoma and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers Sunday at 5 p.m. at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
Sunday's meeting will be the 275th between the Sooners and the Cowboys, with Oklahoma State leading the series 139-135.

OSU was victorious in games one and two.  OU looks to prevent getting swept in the Bedlam Series for the first time since 2001.
This weekend will mark OU’s third television appearance of the season with the Sunday finale set to be aired live on KAUT-UPN (Cox channel 16 in OKC) with Brian Brinkley on play-by-play and Kenny Mossman on color commentary.

See how the Sooners stack up against OSU in the Bedlam Series presented by the Bank of Oklahoma and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers!

This weekend’s games will also be broadcast live on KOKC 1520 AM with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play and DeWayne Vaughn providing the color analysis.  Pregame coverage for all Sooner baseball games, begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
In addition, live stats for all games this season can be viewed on

  Game Notes (PDF) | ScheduleLive Stats

Tickets are still available for all three Bedlam games. For tickets to the opener in Tulsa, please call the Drillers Ticket Office at (918) 744-5901.  To purchase tickets to the Saturday and Sunday games, fan call call the OKC Redhawks Ticket Office toll free at (866) 698-4253.

The No. 8 Sooners took two of three Big 12 games this weekend from Kansas State in route to their fifth straight Big 12 series win.  Sundays come from behind victory was the Sooners’ 15th come from behind victory on the season.  OU has prevailed in three of the last four Bedlam Series, including winning two (both in OKC) against the Pokes in 2005.

The Cowboys come into Bedlam having won 11 out of their last 12 games highlighted by a 2-1 series win over No. 3 Nebraska.   Sunday’s win extended OSU’s winning streak to 11 games, its longest since the 1998 season. The Cowboys are now 33-14 overall and 12-9 in Big 12 Conference play this season.  Despite their 10-6 loss to the Huskers on Monday, the 24th ranked-Pokes have won four straight Big 12 series.  OU has won five straight.

* Offensively,  junior Tyler Mach leads the club with 16 HR, 62 RBI and a .399 batting average.  Shelby Ford is second on the team in RBI 50 and is the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week after hitting hitting .636 with two home runs against the Huskers.

* The Cowboy staff is led by Matt Gardner (4-3), who threw a complete game eight-hitter to defeat NU last Saturday.

*Oklahoma State is coached by Frank Anderson, who is in his third season at the Cowboys helm.   He is 105-62 (.629) in that span.  He led the Cowboys to a sixth place finish in the Big 12 last year  with a 12-15 mark.  Oklahoma State returned 11 letterwinners and 5 position starters from a 2005 team that finished 34-25 last year.

* Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with OU 137-135.  The Sooners own a 25-20 mark over the Cowboys in the last eleven years and have won three of the last four Bedlam series.

Sooners Aaron Ivey and Ryan Rohlinger were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI Baseball First Team released Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  Click here for the complete release.

The Sooners’ season high 13-game winning streak was stopped in its last contest versus Kansas.  The streak was the longest since the 1985 season when the Sooners strung together 19 consecutive victories.  During the recent streak, OU hit .365 as a team with 28 doubles and 16 home runs.  Kevin Smith drove in 20 runs during the winning streak and Ryan Rohlinger drove in 17.  In addition, Kody Kaiser (15 RBI) was one of four Sooners (Caufield, Rohlinger, Smith) to hit three homers.

Oklahoma has connected for double-digit hits in seven of the last nine games and as a result, currently own the best batting average with (.328) in the Big 12.  In the last nine games, OU has collected 135 hits and is averaging 15 hits per game.  The Sooners are also averaging 9.9 runs per game in that span.

TOP 25
After being ranked in each of the four major polls on March 13, 2006 for the first time since April 19, 2004, the Oklahoma baseball team remained in the all four rankings for the ninth consecutive week.  For the 10th consecutive week, OU was ranked in the top 30 by both Collegiate Baseball magazine and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s (NCBWA) polls.  OU is No. 11 in Collegiate Baseball and No. 13 in the NCBWA poll.  In the USA Today/ESPN poll, OU remained at the No. 8 slot and Baseball America has the Sooners at No. 9.  Refer to page six for a complete week-by-week breakdown of the rankings.

 The last time OU was ranked as high as No. 8 was during the 1998 season (No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball on March 16).  In the USA Today/ESPN poll released on March 16 of that year, OU was the No. 7 ranked team in the nation.   The 1998 team was ranked as high as No. 3 (CB) on March 9.

Although not official, provides a weekly pseudo RPI system.  OU is ranked No. 9 in this week’s ranking released on Wednesday, May 10.  The Big 12 is rated the No. 3 power conference in the nation and is right behind the ACC and SEC.  Texas (at No. 3) and Nebraska (at No. 5) are the only Big 12 teams ahead of OU.

In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, released on Tuesday, May 7 Oklahoma was listed as the best team in terms of fielding percentage (.985).    In addition, OU was tied for 16th in terms of winning percentage (.740) 14th in batting average (.328) and 26th in runs scored per game (7.7) and 29th in slugging percentage (.476).  Individually, Steven Guerra has the third most wins in the nation (9).  One pitcher has 11 wins, while nine others have recorded 10.  Will Savage is tied for 28th in the nation with nine saves. 

The Sooners knew heading into 2006 that the defense would be solid with all but one position starter returning from 2005.  So far after 50 games, OU owns the best fielding percentage in the Big 12 (.985), has committed the fewest errors (29) and is second in double plays turned (48).  OU has finished 21 games this season without an error and is 18-3 in those contests (Rice and Memphis).

In all but one of the first 14 weekends of the 2006 season, OU has come out with at least two wins, including five sweeps (Western Illinois, UC Riverside, Centenary, Missouri and Texas Tech).  The weekend against Texas marked the first below .500 record for OU in a weekend series.  OU lost the first two games but rallied to defeat Texas 12-7 in the series finale.  In addition, the series loss to Texas was the first Big 12 series defeat under head coach Sunny Golloway.  OU, led by Golloway in 2005, defeated Kansas St.,Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in three-game series and also topped Texas A&M, Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech and Kansas this season.

OU has connected for 160 RBI with two outs on the board in 2006.  That accounts for 44 percent of the team’s total of 363 RBI.  The team’s top two RBI individuals, Kevin Smith (55) and Ryan Rohlinger (49), each have double-digit RBI with two outs with 29 and 26, respectively.  In addition,  Kody Kaiser (30) has driven in 16 runs with two out and while Aaron Reza (27) has 14 and Freddy Rodriguez (26) has 15.

One of the goals established by pitching coach Fred Corral was to have his staff reach 300 innings before 100 walks.  After game three of the Texas A&M series, OU had walked 97 batters in 303 IP.  Currently, the pitching staff is averaging just under three walks per game (2.88, fourth-best average in the Big 12) and has walked two or fewer batters on 24 occasions this year (OU is 19-5 in those games), including four games without registering a single walk (Texas State, WIU-GM2, Memphis and Indiana State).  

In one stretch, the staff went 22 2/3 consecutive innings without walking a batter, starting with the seventh inning of the Long Beach State game, continuing through the Memphis and Indiana State games, and ending in the third inning against Notre Dame.  Steven Guerra has been the most successful starter in the category, lasting five separate outings without surrendering a walk.

The Sooners have played in 19 one-run games this season and have suffered losses in five of those contests.   Two of those defeats occurred in back-to-back weekends (Arizona State-GM1 and Baylor-GM1).  The other two one-run defeats came in the Service Academies Classic against Memphis and against Kansas State (5/6).  The fifth came in the series opener to Kansas State (5/6). In 2005, OU played in 12 one-run games and recorded a 9-3 mark.

In addition to the Sooners’ 15 comeback victories this season, six of the games listed above were won on the Sooners last at-bat (Baylor, UTA, A&M and TCU).  OU has also won two more games in its final at-bat when the games were tied (March 3 vs. UCR - 10 innings and March 12 vs. Centenary-9 innings).  The opposition has also used its last at-bat to find victory against OU (March 17 vs. Arizona State, Memphis, March 24 vs. Baylor and May 6 vs. Kansas State).

OU is 25-2 this season when the starting pitcher exits the game with the lead.  The two defeats both occurred with Daniel McCutchen on the mound (March 17 vs. ASU and March 24 vs. Baylor).  In comparison, when OU is trailing and the starter leaves the game, it is 7-6 with wins over Texas State, Notre Dame, Baylor (March 26), UT-Arlington (April 4), TCU (April 11) and Texas A&M (April 15 and 16).  There has been three games this season that a starter left  and the score was tied and OU is 2-1 those games.  Steven Guerra made the start in each of the three game and suffered his first loss of 2006 on April 1 versus Texas.  Guerra also left the Texas A&M game in a scoreless tie (with runners on base) and OU won 1-0 in extra innings and he left the Texas Tech game with the score tied at 4-4 and OU won 6-5.  Additionally, OU is 1-3 this year when a starter throws a complete game.  McCutchen threw in all four of those games and lost to Memphis, Texas and Texas A&M and defeated UC Riverside.
The Sooners have faced eight teams this season ranked in one of the four major polls in collegiate baseball (USA Today/Sports Weekly, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA).  OU is 9-8 in those contests with wins over Kansas (NR, NR, NR, 30) Rice (1, 2, 3, 1), Texas (11, 10, 10, 13), Baylor-twice (21, 22, 23, 24) Arizona State (13, 16, 11, 13) Long Beach State (20, 19, 15, 11) and Notre Dame (NR, NR, 22, 28).  OU has lost to Kansas, Texas-twice, Arizona State, Rice (4, 5,4, 2) and Wichita State (NR, NR, 28, 24) twice (NR, NR, NR, 23).  The Sooners will also face one more team ranked in this week’s polls (Nebraska) this season, combining for three of their final nine regular season games.  (All rankings listed were taken at the time of competition).

Seniors Daniel McCutchen and Steven Guerra have started 14 games apiece so far in 2006 and have lasted five or more innings in all but two of those 28 starts (April 23 Guerra vs. Texas Tech, May 6 Guerra vs. Kansas State).  Additionally, McCutchen has each gone six or more innings 12 times (Guerra-10).  OU’s third starter, P.J. Sandoval, has lasted five-plus in all but four of his 13 starts (Feb. 5 vs. Lamar, March 26 vs. Baylor, April 16 vs. Missouri and April 30 vs. Kansas).  Sandoval has four starts over six innings.  Ryan Mottern is the only other OU pitcher with more than one start.  He has pitched in six mid-week games and lasted five or more innings in three starts.

Daniel McCutchen, Steven Guerra, P.J. Sandoval, Ryan Mottern, Will Savage, John Brownell and Brad Burns have all made at least one start this season and are a combined 24-12 this season with an ERA of 4.44.  The Sooners’ bullpen consisting of 12 pitchers is 13-1 with 10 saves and a 5.41 ERA.  Additionally, the Sooners’ starters account for 62 percent of the team’s strikeouts (212/344) and 56 percent of the team’s walks (79/144).   Finally, teams are hitting .269 against the starters and .300 against the bullpen.

Baseball America released its latest NCAA Regioanl predictions on May 4 OU was listed as one of 16 regional host sites as the No. 1 seed.  In the Baseball America midseason report, OU was also listed as a No. 1 seed in a Norman Regional and picked to finish third in the Big 12.

The 37-13 Sooners have proven that they are an offensive team after collecting 10 or more hits in 32 of its 50 games with a 29-3 record on those occasions. (losses came to Lamar, Arizona State and Wichita State-May 2).  Additionally, the OU offense has scored double-digit runs on 16 occasions this season and is 16-0 in those games. OU is averaging 7.7 runs a game and 11.4 hits  per game in 2006.   Eight different regulars are hitting .300 or better (min. 92 at-bats) and eight sluggers have 24 or more RBI, including four with 30 or more (Caufield-38, Kaiser-34, Rohlinger-49 and Smith-55).



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