NORMAN, Okla. The Oklahoma baseball team released its 2005 baseball schedule on Friday afternoon. The schedule highlights a return to two tournaments in which the Sooners emerged victoriously last year in addition to a rigorous Big 12 Conference slate. All home games will be held at L. Dale Mitchell Park on the OU campus.
“I like the way our schedule is set up this year,” commented Oklahoma head coach Larry Cochell. “I think travelling to face such tough competition in the two tournaments last year prepared us well for the tough competition we faced the rest of the way. Its our hope that we will receive similar benefits from such experiences this year as well.”
“We also have a strong home schedule, particularly in Big 12 play where Texas A&M, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas Tech all present tough challenges to us at home,” continued Cochell.
The season kicks off for the second-straight year with a weekend trip to Surprise, Ariz., for the Coca-Cola Classic Spring College Baseball Tournament (Feb. 11-13). OU will once again face fellow tournament returnees Gonzaga and Arizona State as part of their tournament slate while welcoming South Alabama to the competition. The Sooners went 2-1 against the tournament field last year with wins over Arizona State and Cal State Northridge.
Following the trip to Arizona, the Sooners will begin their home slate with a six-game homestand including three games each against Eastern Illinois (Feb. 19-21) and Western Illinois (Feb. 26-28).
In Oklahoma’s other tournament action, the Sooners travel back to Fullerton, Calif., from March 4-6 to defend their Kia Klassic title which they won last year after sweeping through the competition. This year OU again faces host school Cal State Fullerton in their first contest of the tournament and ends with games against UCLA and Nevada, respectively.
OU makes a return trip to the state of Arizona when it faces the Sun Devils again, this time for a three-game set over the Sooners’ spring break. The two teams took a hiatus from their regular three-game series last year for only the second time in the last five years, but renew the rivalry this season in Tempe at Packard Stadium, March 18-20.
The Texas A&M Aggies visit Norman for a three-game set from March 24-26 announcing the beginning of Big 12 Conference play for the Sooners. Kansas (April 8-10), Nebraska (April 28-30) and Texas Tech (May 20-22) are the other league schools that are scheduled to square off with Oklahoma at L. Dale Mitchell Park this season.
OU hits the road for Big 12 series against Baylor (April 1-3), Texas (April 15-17), Missouri (April 22-24) and Kansas State (May 6-8).
As has been the case for the last eight years, Oklahoma will meet its Bedlam rival, Oklahoma State, in a three-game set with games split between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The first game of the series will be held on Fri., May 13, at Tulsa’s Driller’s Stadium and the final two games of the series will be played at the SBC Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City on Sat., May 14, and Sun., May 15.
For the third consecutive year, Oklahoma will battle with Wichita State in a home-and-home series. In the hotly-contested six games the two teams have played over the last three years (including a single game and a NCAA Regional game in 2002), the margin of victory in the series is three runs. The Sooners travel to Wichita, Kan., on Tues., April 26, before the Shockers return the trip and head to Norman on Tues., May 3. Each team has won on their home field the last two years.
TCU and UTA again appear as two regulars on the OU schedule for the eighth-straight year. The Sooners and the Horned Frogs will engage in a home-and-home series (March 22 & April 12) for the eighth-straight season, while the Mavericks agreed to a home-and-home series (March 2 & April 19) for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
Other teams on OU’s home slate include Northwestern Louisiana (March 11-13), Dallas Baptist (March 15 & 29) and Northern Colorado (May 17-18).