Feb. 14, 2001

A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA

San Diego Baseball Classic On Weekend Slate

Oklahoma heads to San Diego, Calif., this weekend to play in the ninth annual San Diego Baseball Classic at Tony Gwynn Stadium. OU is scheduled to play host San Diego State on Friday at 8 p.m., San Diego on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Oregon State on Sunday at 11 a.m. All start times are Central Standard Time.

Last year the Sooners emerged as tournament champions in their only tournament appearance of the 2000 season at the Hilton Plaza Houston Tournament. OU swept through the tournament field defeating Sam Houston State (9-8), host Houston (3-1) and Oral Roberts (15-2).

Last Time Out

A walk-off solo homer by Alabama first baseman Aaron Clark with two out in the bottom of the ninth helped the Crimson Tide win the series finale, 6-5, and complete a three-game sweep of Oklahoma Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 'Bama tied the game at five an inning before as a Tide baserunner was ruled safe on a controversial play at the plate. Relief pitcher Matt Sorensen (0-1) gave up the game-winning home run and suffered the loss for the Sooners.

Senior third baseman Greg Dobbs, junior centerfielder Zach Harris and senior shortstop Jason Bartlett all hit solo homers to help OU grab an early lead in the game.

At The Plate

As a team, Oklahoma is batting .283 (60-for-212) with nine home runs and 33 RBIs through the first six games ... As of Feb. 12, Oklahoma's batting average stood sixth best in the Big 12 Conference ... Six different players have accounted for the nine round-trippers ... Junior first baseman Charlie Frasier leads all Sooners with three homers ... Despite collecting the same number of hits as its opponents (60-60), Oklahoma is being outscored 34-37 by the opposition ... During the Alabama series, the Sooners batted .265 (27-for-102) and hit nine doubles and five home runs ... Oklahoma's leading hitter last week was junior rightfielder Zach Harris who hit .467 (7-for-15) with four runs scored and four RBIs, including his first collegiate home run, over four games ... Seniors Greg Dobbs and Bryan King are tied for the team lead in RBIs with seven apiece.

On The Mound

The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 5.20 ERA and has allowed 31 earned runs in 53.2 innings pitched ... OU has struck out 42 batters while issuing 24 walks ... Oklahoma is holding its opponents to a .279 batting average ... As of Feb. 12, the staff's ERA was eighth best in the Big 12 Conference ... Five different pitchers have received starting assignments ... The bullpen has given up four unearned runs and allowed four inherited runners to score ... Sophomore righty Austin Mix leads all hurlers with 11 strikeouts ... In comparison, the sophomore has only surrendered one walk in 9.2 innings ... Freshman righthander Mark Roberts still owns a 0.00 ERA over two appearances (6.0 IP).

Diamond Notes

* OU dropped out of the Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN polls this week.

* The last time OU started off the year with a 2-4 record through the first six games was back in 1986. That year the Sooners opened the year 2-6, but eventually rebounded to finish with a 44-21 overall record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

* The three-game sweep of the Sooners by the Crimson Tide was the first three-game sweep of an OU team since dropping three games at Louisiana-Lafayette at the beginning of last season.

* Oklahoma's 5-0 loss to No. 25 Alabama in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader marked the first time a Sooner team has been shutout since an 11-0 defeat at Arizona State in 1999.

* OU has stolen at least one base in five of the six games this season. The Sooners have also belted at least one home run in four of the six contests.

* The top five hitters in the Sooners' regular starting lineup have all hit at least one home run.

* Jerome Godsey suffered a hamstring pull in the first game against Alabama and was not able to compete the remainder of the series. The senior centerfielder is expected to be ready to play in this weekend's tournament.

AT THE PLATE: SAN DIEGO STATE, SAN DIEGO & OREGON STATE

Scouting The Tournament Field

San Diego State: San Diego State enters the tournament after taking two of three contests from Houston last weekend. The Aztecs came from behind in both games to defeat the Cougars by scores of 3-2 and 5-4. SDSU hitters are batting .258 (50-for-194) with 25 runs scored, no home runs and 18 RBIs. Junior second baseman Carlo Cota leads all regular starters with a .429 (9-for-21) batting average and has accounted for nine RBIs, half of the team's total. Sophomore Chris Hartshorn tops all starting pitchers with a 1.69 ERA, has not received a decision in two starts and has allowed two earned runs and eight walks while striking out six in 10.2 innings of work. The righthander is projected to start against the Sooners on Friday.

San Diego: USD is searching for consistency to begin the 2001 season. In its three wins, San Diego is averaging 11.3 runs per game. In contrast, the Toreros are only averaging 4.5 runs per game. In its most recent series, San Diego dropped two out of three to Sacramento State. The Toreros have six batters hitting above the .318 mark in their lineup. Leading the way offensively is senior infielder Josh Harris who is batting .548 (17-for-31) with five runs scored and seven RBIs. Righthander Chris Martinez, who is expected to start against OU on Saturday, leads the team in starts and has compiled an 0-1 record with a 6.23 ERA. The junior has given up six earned runs in 8.2 innings pitched and is allowing opponents to hit .316 against him.

Oregon State: The Beavers are still looking for their first win on the season after opening with three-straight losses to Cal State Northridge. Last weekend's series against UC-Santa Barbara was rained out. OSU is hitting the ball well, sporting a .336 batting average, but its pitching staff is allowing 17.47 earned runs per game. Eric Stark is the Beavers' top threat at the plate. The senior outfielder is hitting a torrid .625 (5-for-8) with seven runs scored and three RBIs through the first three games. Righthanders Ben Rowe (7.20 ERA, 5.0 IP) and Stephen Copeland (49.50 ERA, 2.0 IP) are projected to get the starting nods on the mound on Sunday.

MORE ON OKLAHOMA

Godsey Named Big 12 Conference Player Of The Week

After batting .600 over the Sooners opening two games and nailing a game-winning home run in the season opener, Oklahoma's senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey was named the Phillips 66/Big 12 Conference Baseball Player of the Week (Jan. 26 - Feb. 4) last week. Godsey completed a two-game weekend set against Oklahoma City batting 6-for-10 and scoring two runs while driving in two more.

"It feels good to be honored for what I do on the field," said Godsey after hearing of his recent accolade. "I give a lot of the credit to my coaches for helping me become a better hitter since I arrived at OU."

The Santa Rosa, Calif., native matched a career best in hits with a 4-for-6 effort in the season opener against OCU highlighted by a walk-off solo homer in the 11th inning to lead OU to a 4-3 victory. He also added a stolen base and a second RBI in the game. Godsey led the Sooner offensive attack again in Sunday's contest tying for a team-best 2-for-4 performance with one run scored.

Preseason Rankings

The team garnered its second preseason ranking when the Baseball Weekly/ESPN Top 25 poll listed the Sooners 19th in its preseason college baseball poll which was released last week. OU's other preseason mention came from Collegiate Baseball who ranked the Sooners 15th in its initial poll.

It marks the first preseason rankings for the Sooners, who finished the 2000 season unranked in all polls, since the 1998 season when OU appeared in every initial poll, receiving the highest ranking from Collegiate Baseball who ranked the Sooners 12th that year.

Preseason Pub

Oklahoma received several mentions in the recent college preview issue of Baseball America. The publication projected the Sooners to finish third in the Big 12 Conference and to make the NCAA Tournament field. Sophomore righthanded pitcher Austin Mix was selected to the preseason all-conference team as well as named a top prospect for the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.

Senior Jason Bartlett was listed as the "Best Defensive Third Baseman" in the league, although he has switched from that position and is now playing at shortstop this season. Senior righthanded pitcher Matt Sorensen and senior third baseman Greg Dobbs were both named as "Top Newcomers" in the Big 12.

Aye, Aye Captain!

For the second-consecutive year, Head Coach Larry Cochell has designated three players to serve as team tri-captains for the forthcoming season. This year Cochell has chosen seniors Greg Dobbs and Jerome Godsey and junior Evan Greusel to act as the team captains for the 2001 season.

Last season, when Jeff Bajenaru, Zach Lekse and Rick Park acted as the team's captains, marked the first time since 1995 that Cochell appointed the honor.

Class of 2001

The current group of newcomers was ranked as one of the top 20 recruiting classes in a recent issue of Collegiate Baseball. The class was rated as the 17th-best recruiting class in the nation for the upcoming 2001 season.

The ranking marked the second-consecutive year that the Sooners' recruiting class was ranked in Collegiate Baseball's top 30 listing. Last year's class was rated 29th.

Rotary Smith Award Watch

The 2001 Rotary Smith Award committee, which honors an individual as the nation's top college baseball player each summer, has named Sooners Jason Bartlett, Greg Dobbs, Austin Mix and Matt Sorensen to its preliminary watch list for the 2001 season.

The list includes over 160 Division I college baseball players who are under consideration to become the winner of the 14th annual award. Sports information personnel at all of the Division I baseball schools aided in compiling the list through preseason submissions. Additional nominations will be added throughout the season until the first round of voting begins in May.

Milestone Victory

Sitting at 392 wins as the head coach for the Sooners, Larry Cochell is eight wins shy of his 400th victory at OU. Cochell, who opened the 2000 season with his 350th win at Oklahoma, is on pace to accomplish the 400-win milestone quicker than any other OU head baseball coach in school history.

The 400-win mark will be the second time in his career that Cochell has achieved the feat. As the head coach at Oral Roberts (1977-1986), Cochell amassed 428 wins in 10 seasons with the Golden Eagles.

Mosiello Tabbed As One of the Nation's Top Assistants

Bill Mosiello, the team's top assistant coach, was recognized in a recent issue of Baseball America as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Mosiello, who enters his sixth season with the OU program, was ranked eighth on a list of ten top assistants. The ranking, which accompanied an article on the success of several top assistant coaches around the country with major Division I programs, was based on a selective polling of numerous head coaches throughout the nation.

In addition to his duties as the Sooners' third base coach, Mosiello helps in recruiting efforts, instructs the Sooners in hitting and infielding and is responsible for OU's practice organization. At Oklahoma, the Sooners have posted several top finishes in the final national and conference fielding rankings under his direction, including a streak of three-straight first place finishes in the Big 12. Offensively, none of the Sooner teams have hit worse than .309 in his five years in Norman.

Thomas Named Summer League Head Coach

This past summer, assistant coach Aric Thomas was named the head coach of the Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League, one of the premier collegiate summer baseball leagues. Thomas, who played for the Oilers while in college, already has extensive experience in coaching summer college teams as he has spent several summers as an assistant in the Cape Cod League, another top collegiate summer baseball league.

Now in his sixth season as a member of the OU coaching staff, Thomas is charged with tutoring the Sooners in the areas of outfielding, base running and hitting. Since joining the staff, Thomas has helped guide the Sooners to their first conference tournament championship in 18 years with the 1997 Big 12 Conference Tournament title and their third NCAA Regional bid in five years.

1951 National Championship Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Oklahoma baseball's first national title. In 1951, Oklahoma came from behind to defeat the University of Tennessee, 3-2, in the championship game to become the first team in College World Series history to claim the title after winning the double-elimination tournament in straight games without defeat. The title also gave the University of Oklahoma the distinction of becoming the first school to win three national titles in one school year after the football and wrestling teams both captured national championships.

Sooners On The Air

Every Sooner baseball game will be broadcast on KREF 1400 AM and all Sunday games will be aired across the Sooner Sports Radio Network. The broadcast team will consist of Mark Mathew (play-by-olay) and James Hale (analysis).

In addition to the radio, each broadcast will be carried on the Internet. To hear Sooner baseball anywhere in the world, log on to the University of Oklahoma's athletic website at www.soonersports.com.

Home Run Club

For more than 20 years the Home Run Club has been a helpful source of financial support for the Oklahoma baseball program. Joining the Home Run Club provides a chance for Sooner fans to help make sure that the tradition that is OU baseball will prosper well into the new millennium.

The club begins each baseball season with its annual kickoff banquet, which includes addresses from distinguished guest speakers and from Head Coach Larry Cochell. They also support the Sooners with their presence at both home and away contests and the club helps support the team financially with fundraising events every year like their annual golf tournament.

For further information on joining the Home Run Club, contact Elton Davis at (405) 321-3970 or the OU baseball office at (405) 325-8354.

To Purchase Tickets . . .

Tickets to Oklahoma baseball games may be purchased by contacting the Oklahoma Athletic Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU or (405) 325-2424. Season ticket prices range from $100-$40 and single game ticket prices range from $7-$2.

Single game tickets may be purchased at the gate the day of the game. OU students are admitted free with a valid student ID.

SOONERS AT A GLANCE

Jason Bartlett * INF * 6-0 * 170 * R/R * SR * Lodi, Calif.
* Starting at shortstop.
* Has collected a hit in every game this season.
* Hit two homers in three games at Alabama eclipsing his 2000 home run total of one.
* His home run total ties him for second in the Big 12 Conference with six other players.

Buddy Blair * LHP * 6-1 * 200 * L/L * FR * Tulsa, Okla.
* Has made two appearances in relief.
* After holding Oklahoma City scoreless over four innings in his first appearance, he gave up two earned runs in two innings of work versus Alabama.

Michael Bradbury * LHP * 5-10 * 185 * L/L * JR * Owasso, Okla.
* Has made two relief appearances.
* Held Alabama to only one earned run in four innings in his last appearance.
* Has committed a balk in each of his two outings.

Rocky Cherry * RHP * 6-5 * 210 * R/R * JR * Coppell, Texas
* Has two relief outings to his credit.
* Surrendered an earned run in his last appearance at Alabama.
* Has fanned three batters in 4.1 innings pitched.

Austin Coose * RHP * 6-2 * 217 * R/R * SR * Kokomo, Ind.
* Has made two apperances in relief situations.
* Gave up four runs in the series opener against Alabama to take the loss in his last appearance.

Greg Dobbs * INF * 6-1 * 215 * L/R * SR * Moreno Valley, Calif.
* Starting third baseman.
* Since beginning the season 0-for-8 through the first two games, he is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with four runs scored and three RBIs.
* Tied with leftfielder Bryan King for the team lead in RBIs with seven.
* Hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the first inning of Sunday's contest versus Alabama.

Charlie Frasier * INF * 6-2 * 215 * L/R * JR * Napa, Calif.
* Starting first baseman.
* Has hit three home runs in the first six games.
* Tied for the home run lead in the Big 12 Conference.
* Four of his six hits on the season are for extra bases.
* Produced back-to-back two-hit performances against Oklahoma Baptist and Alabama.
* Held hitless in the last two games at 'Bama.

Sergio Garcia * INF * 5-10 * 175 * R/R * JR * Paramount, Calif.
* Starting at second base.
* Has collected two doubles on the year.
* Went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI against Oklahoma Baptist.

Jerome Godsey * OF * 5-11 * 185 * L/L * SR * Santa Rosa, Calif.
* Starting centerfielder.
* Was replaced in the second inning in the first game against Alabama after suffering a hamstring pull and sat out the remainder of the series.
* The injury ended a streak of 68-straight games that Godsey had started and played in at OU.
* Leading the team in hitting with a .500 average.
* Named the Phillips 66/Big 12 Conference Baseball Player of the Week last week.

Evan Greusel * RHP * 6-3 * 205 * R/R * JR * Diamond Bar, Calif.
* Received his first start in his last appearance at Alabama on Saturday.
* The Crimson Tide taggd him for five runs over 1.2 innings.

Chris Haggard * C * 6-0 * 190 * R/R * JR * Tulsa, Okla.
* Splitting time starting at the catcher's position with senior Eliot Joyner.
* Collected two hits in six at bats during the Alabama series.

Brandon Hankins * RHP * 6-0 * 185 * R/R * SO * Waxahachie, Texas
* Started the season opener.
* Came on in relief in his last appearance at Alabama.
* Walked four Crimson Tide batters in 2.2 innings, three of which eventually scored.

Zach Harris * OF * 5-11 * 180 * L/R * JR * Newport, Ark.
* Starting rightfielder.
* Has collected a base hit in all but one game.
* Had back-to-back three-hit efforts against Oklahoma Baptist and Alabama.
* Hit his first career home run in the 'Bama series finale.

Eliot Joyner * C * 5-9 * 193 * R/R * SR * Fontana, Calif.
* Splitting time starting at catcher with junior Chris Haggard.
* Had consecutive two-hit performances versus Oklahoma Baptist and Alabama.

Bryan King * OF * 5-11 * 175 * S/R * SR * Bethany, Okla.
* Starting leftfielder.
* After beginning the season 0-for-6 over the first two games, is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three runs scored and seven RBIs.
* Tied for the team lead in RBIs with senior third baseman Greg Dobbs.
* Leads the team with three stolen bases and the total ties him for fourth best in the Big 12 Conference.

Austin Mix * RHP * 6-3 * 208 * R/R * SO * Coppell, Texas
* Starting pitcher.
* Suffered the loss in his first start after giving up five runs in 4.2 innings against Oklahoma City.
* Gave up only two earned runs over five innings in his last start versus Alabama.
* Leads the team in strikeouts with 11.

Mark Roberts * RHP * 5-11 * 170 * R/R * FR * Owasso, Okla.
* Has seen action in relief and in a starting role.
* Has not allowed an earned run in six innings of work.
* Suffered his first loss after throwing four innings and surrendering an unearned run against Alabama on Saturday.

Matt Sorensen * RHP * 6-2 * 200 * R/R * SR * South Gate, Calif.
* Has seen time in relief and starting roles.
* Suffered his first career loss (17-1) in his last appearance after giving up a game-winning home run in the Alabama series finale.
* Has allowed six earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched.

Ryan Welborn * OF * 6-3 * 175 * L/R * FR * Yukon, Okla.
* Has earned starting roles as the team's designated hitter and in centerfield in replace of the injured Jerome Godsey.
* Held hitless in his last two at bats.
* Began the season 3-for-8 (.375) with two runs scored.