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March 6, 2001

A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Faces Creighton For Midweek Slate

The Sooners will continue their 11 game homestand with a mid-week two game set against the Creighton Bluejays. The games are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday at 3 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman.

The featured promotion for both games will be .50 hotdogs and Cokes.

Last Time Out

The Oklahoma baseball team registered a season high in runs as the Sooners defeated Northwestern, 17-6, Sunday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman. OU, who captured its second-straight weekend series by beating the Wildcats in two out of the three games, utilized solid pitching and hitting as six players recorded multi-hit performances and starting pitcher Rocky Cherry (3-1) only allowed three runs in five innings of work.

The Sooner offense scored runs in six of their eight innings at the plate. Junior designated hitter Charlie Frasier (2-for-4) got Oklahoma on the scoreboard when his two-run homer helped spot OU three early runs in the first inning.

OU posted single runs in the second and third frames before widening their lead with four runs in the fourth inning.

The Sooners registered their final eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings, including a five run seventh. In the seventh inning, OU collected five hits, including three doubles. The final three hits in the inning were run-scoring doubles by junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (2-for-4), freshman pinch hitter/centerfielder Ryan Welborn (1-for-1) and senior pinch hitter/first baseman John Erick Munneke (1-for-1).

At The Plate

As a team, Oklahoma is batting .299 with 16 home runs and 98 RBIs ... The Sooners' batting average continued to rise for the second-consecutive week ... Oklahoma batted .314 against Northwestern ... The Sooners outscored the 'Cats 25-12 ... The 17 run output on Sunday was the most runs scored by an OU team since the 1999 season ... Junior designated hitter Charlie Frasier hit his team-leading sixth home run last weekend ... Frasier has hit at least one home run in four out of the last five weekends. ... Oklahoma is closing the gap on the competition and only trails its opponents by two in runs scored (104-102) and four in hits (167-163) ... On the season, Oklahoma has produced 26 RBIs with two outs in an inning ... Junior shortstop Sergio Garcia leads all Sooners in the category with five ... Leftfielder Bryan King laced two more doubles last weekend to increase his season total to seven ... The total leads the team and also ranks among the best in the Big 12 ... King was also the team's top performing starter offensively against Northwestern ... The senior batted .444 (4-for-9) with three runs scored ... Senior first baseman Greg Dobbs led the team in hits (5) and RBIs (4) against the Wildcats.

On The Mound

The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 4.94 ERA and has allowed 77 earned runs in 140.1 innings pitched ... Over the weekend, the pitching staff posted a 3.00 ERA against Northwestern ... The staff allowed only nine earned runs in 27 innings pitched ... Eight different pitchers have received starting assignments ... Sophomore righty Austin Mix leads all hurlers with 31 strikeouts ... Evan Greusel and Rocky Cherry's victories this weekend were the first wins credited to an Oklahoma starting pitcher this season ... All five other Sooner wins were picked up by OU relievers ... Greusel's 8.2 innings pitched in Saturday's game was the longest outing for a Sooner starter this season.

Home Sweet Home

The Sooners have felt very comfortable at home this season picking up all seven of their wins at L. Dale Mitchell Park against only two losses. Oklahoma opened the 2001 season with seven of its first 10 contests on the road in which the Sooners dropped all seven games. Since returning home and encountering its current 11 game homestand, OU has won five of its last six contests and captured two-straight weekend series, including a sweep of Big 12 Conference foe Kansas.

Offensively, the team is hitting at a .320 clip and has hit nine of its 16 home runs at home. In comparison, OU is only hitting .262 with six homers in opposing ballparks.

On the mound, the Sooner pitching staff has posted a 3.80 ERA and is holding its opponents to a .275 batting average in the friendly confines of L. Dale Mitchell Park. The staff's ERA inflates to 7.19 on the road and opposing hitters are batting 45 points higher at .307.

Two Week Turnaround

OU has rattled off wins in five of the last six games over the last two weeks and can credit its resurgence to solid hitting, pitching and defense.

Over the last two weeks, Oklahoma is batting at a .330 clip and outscoring the opposition 49-28. Ten of the 15 players that have made plate appearances during that time hit above the .300 mark.

During the two week stretch, OU hurlers have combined for a 3.83 ERA, while holding opponents to a .268 batting average. The staff has surrendered only 23 earned runs and 53 hits in 54 innings pitched. Defensively, OU fielders have committed only seven errors in six games.

Prior to OU's recent success, the team was batting .280 and being outscored by its opponents 76-53, while the pitching staff posted a 5.63 ERA and allowed opposing hitters to bat .311 against them.

DIAMOND NOTES

* The Sooners return to Big 12 Conference play this weekend when Oklahoma hosts Texas A&M for a three-game set. OU will then continue facing conference competition over the next seven-consecutive weekends.

* OU has won five out of its last six games.

* Friday's 4-0 loss to Northwestern marked the second time this season that the Sooners have been shutout. The last time OU was shutout more than once in a season was in 1993 when Oklahoma was held scoreless three times.

* The Sooner offense recorded its best offensive output of the season with 17 runs in Sunday's 17-6 OU victory.

* The 2-1 series win over Northwestern helped Oklahoma capture its second-straight weekend series.

* OU's defense registered its second errorless contest of the season in Saturday's game.

* Since making widespread defensive changes two weeks ago, the current starters in the field for OU have committed only eight errors in seven games and have posted both errorless games of the season over that span.

AT THE PLATE: CREIGHTON

Scouting The Bluejays

Creighton enters the two-game set against Oklahoma with a 2-3 record after picking up wins in its last two contests. The Bluejays opened the season with three-consecutive losses against nationally-ranked Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. Since then, the 'Jays handed cross-town rival Nebraska-Omaha 4-3 and 11-5 setbacks in a series played in Wichita, Kan.

Creighton is coming off of a successful 2000 season in which it went 38-23 overall and placed third in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays advanced to the NCAA Tournament (Tempe Regional) where they went 0-2.

Dan Gooris, Creighton's top starting pitcher, returns for his senior season after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Last year, Gooris posted a 7-3 record and a 4.24 ERA to lead the staff. Despite owning a 10.80 ERA and a 0-1 record through two starts this season, Gooris is still considered the ace of a staff which combined sports a 10.71 ERA and has allowed 50 earned runs in 42 innings pitched this year.

Creighton's offense is batting at a .252 clip and has hit only one home run through its first five games. The Bluejays pose a threat on the basepaths as they have been successful 10 times out of 15 attempts thus far this season. Freshman infielder/outfielder Steve Ruh leads all Bluejays starters with a .400 batting average, five runs scored and eight hits.