NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma baseball head coach Sunny Golloway announced the 2006 team captains Wednesday, as voted on by members of the OU baseball team. Seniors Chuckie Caufield, Daniel McCutchen and Ryan Rohlinger were chosen by their teammates to represent the Sooners next season.
The announcement comes after the Sooners finished up the fall season on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The Sooners will report back on Jan. 17 for individual workouts and begin team sessions on Jan. 22 in preparation for the 2006 season.
“Our coaching staff is extremely proud of our team’s selection of captains that truly represent all the qualities that we look for in a team leader,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “These three players showcase three different areas out on the field (pitching, infield and outfield) and I know they will to a fine job of representing the Sooner baseball team and the University of Oklahoma.
“Rohlinger, Caufield and McCutchen are outstanding players that we are very fortunate to still have on our team. They were all drafted at some point in their career and could be playing at the next level right now. I have no doubt that this trio will lead the 2006 team to success and will inspire the true spirit of what a student athlete should be.”
Caufield was the Sooners’ starting center fielder a year ago, making 56 starts (49 in center), and was the only regular starter to compile a perfect fielding percentage. Caufield finished the year with a .315 batting average, good for second best on the team. In addition, the Ada, Okla., native was second on the team in stolen bases (9) and on-base percentage (.403). The senior really got into a groove near the end of the year, posting the best hitting numbers among any Sooner. During OU’s six postseason games, he hit .409 with three home runs, six runs scored and five RBI and was one of three Sooners to be named to the Oxford Regional All-Tournament Team.
Caufield is expected to start in right field this season and bat near the top of the lineup.
McCutchen returns for his senior year after being selected in the 12th round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Norman, Okla., native started off the 2005 season in the Sooners’ bullpen but quickly became OU’s No. 1 starter after pitching nine strong innings, including a season-high 10 strikeouts, against then-No. 1 Texas, the 2005 NCAA Champion. McCutchen struck out 48 batters in six regular season starts against Big 12 competition en route to being named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. McCutchen also excelled in the classroom as a member of the 2005 Spring Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
McCutchen is again projected to be the Sooners’ No. 1 starter this upcoming season.
The final senior captain, Rohlinger, also returns for his senior season after being selected by the Cardinals in 2005 (21st round). Rohlinger was the Sooners’ starting third baseman last year and led the team in nearly every major offensive category, including: batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.563), on base percentage (.449), runs scored (53), hits (79), RBI (53), home runs (11) and walks (37). The West Bend, Wisc., native was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team and Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2005. He finished the season with seven homers and 19 RBI in the final 17 games and was named to the Oxford Regional All-Tournament Team.
Rohlinger will once again start at third base in 2006 and is expected to hit in the middle of the lineup.