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Sooners Set for Bedlam Series
May 13, 2005

NORMAN, Okla. -- The end of the regular season is less than two weeks away and the Bedlam Series, presented by Bank of Oklahoma and your Oklahoma Ford Dealers, will play a major factor in the seeds for this year’s Big 12 Tournament. 

Only the top eight teams qualify for the conference tourney and Oklahoma (6th place at 9-12) will start a three-game series on Friday against Oklahoma State (5th place at 10-11) in Tulsa, Okla., at Drillers Stadium.  The Sooners will continue the series on Saturday at 7 p.m. and wrap things up on Sunday at 2 p.m., with both games being played at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. 

The Sooners own a 21-19 mark over the Cowboys in the last ten years and the two have split the season meetings in that span (5-5).  OSU holds a 136-133 advantage in the all-time series.

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BROADCAST INFO
The three-game series between OU and Oklahoma State will be broadcast live on KOKC (1520 AM) with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play.  The pre-game show will start 15 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch. 

The Bedlam Series will also be featured on television throughout the weekend.  The series opener will be aired by the Sooner Sports Network (Cox Ch. 7 in OKC and Ch. 3 in Tulsa) with Brian Brinkley and Kenny Mossman calling the play-by-play and color analysis, respectively. 

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

Saturday’s game will be broadcast by ESPNU (DirecTV channel 609) and Sunday’s contest will be aired on ESPN (Cox channel 29).  Mark Neely will cover the play-by-play on Saturday and Dave Barnett on Sunday with Kyle Peterson providing the color analysis in both games.  

All times and availability are subject to change.  Live stats will also be available through SoonerSports.com.

OKLAHOMA STATE NOTES
Overall Record: 31-18, Big 12: 10-11  |  Rankings: NR
After rattling off four consecutive wins, including a three-game sweep of then-No. 13 Missouri, the Cowboys enter the Bedlam series having dropped four of their last seven games.  OSU defeated ORU, 6-5, in Stillwater on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State wins ball games with power numbers as they own a league-best 20 home runs in 21 Big 12 contests.    In addition, the Cowboys own the league’s best batting average (.313) when considering overall games but that number is lower in conference action, .263.  Adam Carr (1B) leads the conference with 17 homers and 73 RBI in OSU’s 49 games, those marks also rank in the nation’s top 10.

Thomas Cowley will take the mound for OSU on Friday.  The left-hander is 8-4 this year, 4-3 in Big 12, with an ERA of 2.51 in 13 starts.  Cowley leads the team in innings pitched (93.1) and ranks third on the club with 68 strikeouts.  Saturday’s starter Blake Kronkosky, also a lefty, has started just four games (three in Big 12 play) for the Cowboys this season.  He is 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 33.1 innings tossed. Sunday’s starter is yet to be determined.

2004 MEETINGS WITH OKLAHOMA STATE
The No. 15 Sooners salvaged a game three win in the Bedlam Series with a 4-1 win over No. 26 Oklahoma State on May 1 at the SBC Bricktown Ballpark.  In front of a crowd of 12,283, the pitching duo of senior Mike Swindell and junior Daniel McCutchen led the Sooners to victory with a pair of standout efforts.  McCutchen was almost perfect in three innings of relief as the right-hander allowed just one hit for and struck out one for the save.

OU was not so lucky in the first two games of the series.  The Cowboys used six runs in the first inning and two more in the sixth to hold off the Sooners’ five runs, scored in the fourth and fifth inning, for an 8-5 victory in the series opener.  In game two, OSU scored the game-winning run in the top of the 13th inning for the 6-5 win on Saturday, after Friday’s game was postponed due to rain.

LAST TIME OUT - SOONERS TAKE SERIES FROM KANSAS STATE
Oklahoma took two of three games from Kansas State with come-from-behind, extra-innings wins on Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8. On Saturday, OU trailed 7-2 after seven, but scored six runs in the eighth and ninth innings to force extra play, winning 10-8 in 11 frames. Sunday was more of the same as the Sooners, down 4-1 entering the ninth, blasted two homers, scoring the four runs and eventually winning 6-5 in 10 innings. The Sooners dropped game one on Friday, 8-5, despite holding an early 3-0 lead after three frames.

THORNTON LEADS SOONERS IN RBI
Eric Thornton collected five RBI against Kansas State over the weekend and now leads all Sooners with 41 this season (he had 39 last season).  Thornton, currently riding a season-high, eight-game hitting streak, has driven in 12 runs in the last eight contests.  Also in that span, he has posted a .356 batting average, two homers, three doubles and a .645 slugging percentage.

SAVAGE HONORED
Junior Will Savage (7-3) was named the Big 12 Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week along with Kansas’ Don Czyz, for the week ending May 9.  Savage led the Sooners to three wins last week, including two key conference victories on the road against Kansas State.  

Savage appeared in all four games last week, all in relief, for OU and recorded his first of three wins on Tuesday against Wichita State.  In that game, the West Hills, Calif., native pitched 4.2 innings out of the Sooners’ pen, in which he allowed just one run and struck out three.  In back-to-back games against Kansas State, the reliever worked 4.1 total innings in the two appearances, giving up just two hits and a walk to the 16 Wildcats he faced.  He also appeared in the series opener, tossing an inning in the Sooners’ 8-5 loss.

He combined to record a 1.80 ERA in the four appearances (10 innings) in which he allowed two runs on 10 hits, while striking out three batters opposite one walk.  He currently leads the team in wins (7), appearances (23), innings pitched (75) and ranks third in strikeouts (45).  Steven Guerra is the only other Sooner to collect the conference honor this season.  Guerra was also a co-winner back on March 29 after throwing a complete game, three hitter, against Texas A&M.

MORE ON THE SERIES WIN OVER KANSAS STATE
 The Sooners belted a three-game, series-high nine homers against the Wildcats.  The most OU had knocked out, in a three-game set, before last weekend was five, which occurred at home against Northwestern State.  The nine dingers hit against KSU is the most any Sooner team has knocked out, in a Big 12 series, since the 2000 season (13 vs. ISU).

 Ryan Rohlinger contributed three homers in the KSU series and became the first Sooner to belt round-trippers in   three consecutive games in 2005.

 For just the second and third time this season, OU came out on top to win a ball game when trailing after eight   innings.  In game two, OU was down 7-6 after eight frames and came back to win,10-8, in 11 innings.  In the final   contest,  the Sooners overcame a three-run deficit to defeat KSU by a score of 6-5 in 10 innings.

McCUTCHEN PROVES TO BE OU’S ACE IN THE HOLE
Since blowing a save against Nevada on March 6, Daniel McCutchen has returned to the Sooners’ starting lineup and has been solid in four Big 12 outings.  Now the Sooners’ Friday starter, McCutchen made his second start of the season, first since Feb. 12, against No. 1 Texas (4/15).  Despite a no-decision and an OU loss, McCutchen was stellar in nine innings of five-hit ball.  He also posted a season-high ten strikeouts in the game.  Against No. 5 Nebraska on April 28, the hurler recorded his first win since defeating Northwestern State on March 13.  In his four Big 12 starts, McCutchen has a 1-1 record and has struck out 32 batters in 29.1 innings pitched.  In addition, he has allowed nine runs (six earned) on 24 hits and seven walks.  His ERA in that span is 1.84 and opponents are hitting just .226 off him.

RALEY IS CLUTCH
Junior (2B) Russell Raley has put the bat on the ball in critical situations for OU this season. He’s hitting .365 with runners on base, .358 with two out and .800 (4-for-5) with the bases loaded. He’s come up 18 times with a runner at third and less than two out, and he’s driven in that runner 15 times.  Raley had his 10-game hitting streak snapped over the weekend vs. KSU. Earlier in the season, Raley had a 13-game hitting streak come to a halt against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, despite the fact that the Uvalde, Texas native reached base four times in the game (two errors and two walks).  Raley was one game shy of tying his career high of 14 that he set a year ago in between April 13 and May 7. 

CAUFIELD’S SPEED = SOONERS’ SUCCESS
Junior Chuckie Caufield leads the 2005 Sooners, after 47 games, with eight stolen bases and is tied for second on the club with 38 runs scored.  In games where the centerfielder swipes a base, OU is 7-0 and when the Ada, Okla., native scores a run, OU is 16-10 (.615). Even in the three games that Caufield has been caught stealing, the Sooners remain perfect with two more victories.

RELIEF WORKHORSE
Sooner reliever Will Savage has become OU’s go-to guy in the bullpen.  The junior leads the team with 75 innings pitched and 23 appearances.  Savage has started just five games this season and since that last start (April 12 vs. TCU), he has been lights out.  In the nine relief appearances since the TCU game, Savage has went on to record a 4-0 mark to accompany his 1.14 ERA in 23.2 innings of work.  In addition, he has allowed eight runs (three earned) on 22 hits and three walks, while striking out 11 and holding batters to a .239 batting average.

EVEN IN EXTRA INNINGS
After starting the season 0-3 in games played in extra frames (Northwestern State, Texas A&M and Texas), the Sooners have battled back to .500 play with three consecutive victories.  The first came in a 2-1 pitchers’ duel against Missouri in the series opener (10 innings) and then OU posted back-to-back, extra-inning victories last weekend against Kansas State (11 and 10 innings).

CAPTAINS COME ALIVE
Eric Thornton, Matt Bose and Eric Thornton, OU’s 2005 captains, had a successful weekend against Kansas State.  The three seniors combined for 10 hits, nine RBI and four runs scored.  Although Thornton is no stranger to the Sooners’ starting lineup (44 starts), it was just the 16th start for Matt Bose and sixth start for Scuderi this season.  In two games vs. KSU, Bose went 3-for-6 with a RBI and two runs, while Scuderi was 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Thornton, Bose and Scuderi, the team’s only seniors, were named the team’s captains before the Dallas Baptist game on March 29.  The trio combined for 178 appearances last season (163 starts) and were accountable for a third of the team’s RBI (101/329) and over a quarter of the runs scored (104/387).

ROAD WOES
The Sooners won their first road series (2-1) of the season against Kansas State last weekend.  Before that series, OU was 0-4 in three-game sets taking place on the road.  The Sooners got their first road win of the year versus then-No. 22 TCU on March 22 and currently stand at 5-13 this season.  Four of the Sooners’ five losses in a three-game series, have come on the road (Missouri, Texas, ASU and Baylor).  So far this season, OU is 7-16 in games played away from the friendly confines of L. Dale Mitchell Park.  Five of those contests have been played at neutral sites with OU participating in two tournaments this season (Coca-Cola Classic and the KIA Bash).  OU is batting just .229, in “true” road games, with 12 home runs and 60 RBI in those contests.  Before the KSU series (9 HR), OU had hit just three home runs on the road.

RODRIGUEZ BACK ON THE RISE
Junior Freddy Rodriguez entered the Northwestern State series as the Sooners’ leader in batting average (.409), almost two months ago and had his nine game hitting streak (17 hits and 12 RBI) come to an end in the series finale.  For the next 15 games the shortstop struggled, collecting just five hits in that time and on April 10 after a game with Kansas, he was batting just .248.  Since that game, Rodriguez has come back strong.  In the last 16 games, he has collected the most hits (25) by any Sooner in that span.  The Westminister, Calif., native is currently batting .309 (second best on the team) and has collected eight mult-hit games in the last 16 contests, after having only five after the first 31 games.

ROHLINGER  STAYS HOT
Junior Ryan Rohlinger continues to lead the Sooners offensive charge this season as he is tops on the team in batting average (.361), hits (65) and second on the team in RBI (38).  Rohlinger hit .282 last year with six homers and 32 RBI.  The West Bend, Wisc., native recently had his seven-game hitting streak snapped against Nebraska, but he has hit safely in 15 of the last 19 games with a .391 batting average in that span.  He has also collected eight multi-hit games in the last 19 contests to go along with five home runs, 13 RBI and a .681 slugging percentage.

PERMANENT FIXTURE
Junior Russell Raley has been a permanent fixture in the Sooners lineup for the last three seasons.  On Friday, the second baseman will be making his 107th consecutive start for the Sooners.  Raley started 60 games a season ago (missing just two of the first three games) and has started every game this season.  He finished 2003 with 16 straight starts and he has come off the bench in just 11 contests in his OU career.  Of the 106 consecutive starts, only four did not occur at second base (2004-three starts at third and 2005-one start as DH).

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