May 3, 2001
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A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA
Sooners End Home Schedule With Iowa State
Oklahoma (20-28-1, 10-13-1 Big 12) will close out its 2001 home schedule this weekend with a three-game set against Iowa State (19-23-1, 9-11 Big 12). The series begins Friday at 7 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park and finishes off on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
The two teams will battle for positioning in the Big 12 Conference standings during the series. Heading into the weekend, the Cyclones sit in seventh place and the Sooners are not far behind in eighth place, a half game behind ISU.
Last Time Out
The Oklahoma baseball team won its fourth-straight game with a 10-6 win over Texas-Arlington Wednesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs tied a school record with four doubles and also tied a career-high with five hits, which he set in the Sooners' first win over the Mavericks earlier this season. Dobbs' performance led a Sooner offensive output which produced 18 hits, five multi-hit efforts and eight extra-base hits.
After Texas-Arlington put up three runs in the top of the first inning, Oklahoma matched the effort with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. OU then took the lead in the next frame when freshman second baseman Matt Fisher (2-for-4) singled home senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey (3-for-5), who had tripled in the previous at bat, with two outs. Fisher's run-scoring hit was one of five RBI hits with two outs for the Sooners in the contest and also extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Dobbs nailed the first of his four doubles to lead off the third inning and scored on senior designated hitter Sean Smith's (2-for-4) following double. Dobbs' next two doubles, in the fourth and sixth innings, plated runs and allowed the Moreno Valley, Calif., native to score two more of his game-high four runs.
At The Plate
As a team, Oklahoma is batting .303 with 39 home runs and 271 RBIs ... In Big 12 Conference games, the squad is hitting .304 with 18 home runs and 120 RBIs ... As of April 30, OU stood in fifth place in the Big 12 in hitting and second in conference games only ... OU has pounded out the fifth-most home runs of all the team's in the league ... Junior first baseman Charlie Frasier was the team's leading hitter last week ... Frasier batted .550 (11-for-20) for the week with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 12 RBIs over five games ... Frasier belted his team-leading ninth and 10th home runs this season in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday ... Freshman second baseman Matt Fisher is currently on a 11-game hitting streak ... Fisher is batting .409 (18-for-44) with six runs scored and seven RBIs ... Among the Big 12 Conference leaders: Greg Dobbs - batting average (second), hits (first), RBIs (t-fourth), doubles (t-second), total bases (third), on base percentage (10th) and slugging percentage (fifth), Jerome Godsey - batting average (t-12th) and hits (seventh), and Charlie Frasier - home runs (t-fifth) and RBIs (10th).
On The Mound
The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 5.15 ERA and has allowed 245 earned runs in 428.1 innings pitched ... In Big 12 Conference games only, the staff owns a 5.48 ERA with 126 earned runs given up in 207.0 innings pitched ... As of April 30, OU stood in ninth place in the Big 12 in staff ERA and eighth in league games only ... Junior Rocky Cherry tied a career-high eight strikeouts against Centenary on Sunday ... Sophomore Austin Mix has recorded double-digit strikeouts in his last three-consecutive performances ... Among the Big 12 Conference leaders: Mix - strikeouts (third), innings pitched (seventh) and games started (t-second), Mark Roberts - appearances (third), and Brandon Hankins - appearances (t-seventh).
* OU's sweep of Centenary was the Sooners' third three-game sweep of an opponent this season.
* The Sooner offense has recorded 15 double-digit hit efforts in the last 19 games. Oklahoma is batting at a .329 clip over the 19-game stretch.
* Oklahoma is currently enjoying its most successful stretch of the season. The Sooners have won 10 of their last 17 contests and also tied one.
* OU's defense has racked up four errorless performances in the last eight games.
* Evan Greusel and Austin Mix did not issue a walk in either of their starts last Friday or Saturday in tossing back-to-back complete games.
* Greusel tossed his first complete game of the season (second of his career) and also his first career shutout Friday night versus Centenary.
* Mix struck out a career-high 13 batters and allowed only two hits in completing his third game of the season on Saturday versus Centenary.
* Junior first baseman Charlie Frasier and junior shortstop Sergio Garcia both fell one hit shy of hitting for the cycle on Sunday versus Centenary. Frasier lacked a triple, while Garcia lacked a single.
MORE ON OKLAHOMA
The team's final weekend home series will feature many special attractions for Sooner baseball fans. Beginning on Friday, the 1951 Oklahoma baseball national championship team will be honored in a ceremony prior to the game in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the program's first national title.
Another pre-game ceremony will be held prior on Sunday honoring another special group of Sooner baseball players. Nine seniors will be recognized in Senior Day festivities before their final home game. Jason Bartlett, Austin Coose, Greg Dobbs, Jerome Godsey, Eliot Joyner, Bryan King, John Erick Munneke, Sean Smith and Matt Sorensen will be appearing in a Sooner uniform for the final time in their careers at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Fans will be able to enjoy two special giveaways during the Iowa State series. On Saturday, team trading cards will be given away to the first 1,000 fans through the gate at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Team pennants will then be given away to the first 1,000 fans in attendance at Sunday's series finale.
Senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs tied a school record for doubles in a game with four on Wednesday night versus Texas-Arlington. The four doubles equalled a feat accomplished only once in Oklahoma baseball history by Marty Neff against South Dakota State in 1991. It also moved Dobbs' into a tie with three former Sooners for sixth place on the single-season list by increasing his doubles total to 23 on the season. The single-season mark is owned by current Oklahoma assistant coach Rich Hills who registered 28 doubles in 1994.
Dobbs also tied another school record (for the second time this season) Wednesday night with five hits in a game. The record is also shared by 20 other players in Oklahoma baseball history and was last accomplished prior to this season by Chad Mead in 1997. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native also had a career-best five hit performance earlier in the year in OU's first win over UTA.
Just Like Old Times
Sophomore hurler Austin Mix is beginning to show signs of what made him the Sooner's top pitcher last year. A two-time 2000 Freshman All-American, Mix started off the season with a 0-7 record and his ERA ballooned to 5.80 12 starts into the year. Since that time, Mix has picked up two wins and one no decision in his last three starts and has lowered his ERA over a full run to 4.67. Mix has also fanned 10 or more batters in his last three starts, including a career-high 13 strikeouts Saturday against Centenary.
Freshman On The Rise
After already proving to be an outstanding defensive player on the field, freshman second baseman Matt Fisher is also convincing people he can produce at the plate. Fisher, who has only committed four errors in over 200 chances this season, is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak which has raised his batting average over 61 points to its current mark of .277.
Fisher's offensive production has also warranted a move up in the batting order as well. He moved up from his previous spot in the ninth hole to his current two hole spot five games ago.
During the 11-game stretch, the Chatsworth, Calif., native is batting .409 (18-for-44) with six runs scored and seven RBIs. Fisher also belted his second home run of the season last Friday versus Centenary.
OU's All-Time Appearance Leader
Junior Rocky Cherry became Oklahoma's all-time appearances leader with his 69th with his 17th start of the season Sunday against Centenary. The outing passed Casey Mendenhall on the list who had owned the record for eight years.
The righthander has averaged 26 appearances over his first two seasons with the Sooners and his 31 outings last season stand as fourth-best on the school's single-season appearances list.
AT THE PLATE: IOWA STATE
Scouting The Cyclones
Iowa State (19-23-1, 9-11 Big 12) enters the series versus Oklahoma as one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 Conference. The Cyclones are coming off a 2-1 series win over nationally-ranked Texas last weekend in Ames and have captured series victories in two of their last three conference sets. ISU has also won nine of its last 14 contests overall.
Offensively, the team is batting .249 with 17 home runs and 192 runs scored. Senior infielder Rob Conway is Iowa State's top offensive threat. Conway leads all Cyclone hitters with a .325 average, 29 runs scored and 38 RBIs and is also second on the club in home runs with four round-trippers.
The strength for the Cyclones this season has lied in its pitching. Iowa State possesses six pitchers that sport individual ERAs of less than four, while the staff has combined for a solid 4.20 ERA on the season. Each of their top three starters (sophomore righthander Alan Bomer, senior righthander Charly Bigwood and sophomore righthander Lincoln Mincks) all own ERAs of less than 4.23 and have each struck out more than 43 batters. Mincks (3-4, 4.23 ERA) is scheduled to throw in the series opener, followed by Bomer (5-4, 3.52 ERA) on Saturday and Bigwood (2-7, 4.19 ERA) on Sunday.