OU vs. Wichita State Tonight 7 p.m.

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 03, 2005

NORMAN, Okla. -- For the second time in seven days, the Sooners (23-20) will battle things out with Wichita State (38-14) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.  This time around, the game will be held at L. Dale Mitchell Park after the Shockers took the first game at Eck Stadium, 7-5. 

OU is looking to end a four-game home stand on a successful note after dropping back-to-back games in Norman for the first time this season, against No. 5 Nebraska 

After a promising start to the conference series with the Cornhuskers, a 5-1 victory, the Sooners’ offense struggled by posting two runs in the final two contests.  Oklahoma, 18-5 at home this season, has not lost three consecutive games at L. Dale Mitchell Park since the 2003 season, when No. 16 Nebraska swept the Sooners.

Seats to the game are available for $8 (reserved), $5 (general admission) and $3 (youth and groups of ten or more) at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and at SoonerSports.com.  The gates will open an hour and a half before game time.  Tuesday will also mark $.50 hot dog and coke night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

The contest between OU and Wichita 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.  All times and availability are subject to change.  Live stats will also be available through SoonerSports.com.

OU Radio | Live Stats | Live Audio | Weekly Release (PDF)

OU - John Brownell (RHP) - 2-4, 4.93 ERA
WSU - Kyle Touchatt (RHP) - 3-1, 4.17 ERA

Overall Record: 38-14, MVC: 11-4  | Rankings: 34 (NCBWA)
Wichita State is 5-4 against Big 12 competition this season.  The Shockers defeated OU last week and lost 4-2, a day later, to Nebraska.  Wichita State faced Kansas on three seperate ocassions this season and came out victorious in two of those games. They also defeated Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, while losing two games earlier in the year to Kansas State.  WSU enters the game on a three-game winning streak, coming off a weeked that saw it sweep Southwest Missouri State in three games.  The Shockers are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Derek Schermerhorn is hitting .367 for the Shockers, a team best, and additionally leads the team in hits (76) and RBI (41).  Phil Napolitan, who had success off the Sooners last season, is second on the team with a .335 average and fifth on the squad with 24 RBI.  Kyle Touchatt (RHP) will take the mound for WSU on Tuesday against the Sooners.  Touchatt is 3-1 this season in his team-leading 20 appearances, three of which were starts.  The right-hander has struck out 35 in 45.1 innings pitched and owns a 4.17 ERA. 

Below is a comparison of how the teams match up with each other at this point in the season:

Oklahoma     Wichita State    
Overall: 23-20 38-14
Conf:               7-11 11-4
Home: 18-5 21-7
Away: 3-12 13-5
Neutral: 2-3 4-2
Avg.: .291 2.94
HR: 22 17
RBI: 249 294
Runs: 294 331
ERA: 4.65 3.27
BB: 152 173
SO: 321 428
B/Avg.: .278 .254

Wichita State defeated OU, 7-5 in Wichita, Kansas, on April 26.  Eric Thornton hit a three-run homer, his third of the season, in the top of the fourth inning to tie the ball game at four runs apiece, but Wichita State came back in the bottom of the sixth with a bomb by Joe Muich, with Damon Sublett on base, and those runs proved to be the difference.  Sublett recorded his seventh save of the year, ending the Sooners’ ninth-inning rally.  Raley provided a RBI double in the final frame and OU put the tying runs on first and third, but came up short.  Tyler Gooch made his start of the season and was solid in five innings of work, striking out four, as he left the game with the scored tied at four runs apiece. 

No. 18 Oklahoma threatened to come from behind in the top of the ninth inning but No. 25 Wichita State held on for an 8-7 win on May 18.  WSU scored all eight of its runs with two outs and were led by Phil Napolitan, who went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI.  The Sooners came close to sweeping the regular season series with the Shockers after winning the first meeting a week earlier, 7-3.  Oklahoma took the early lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning during the meeting on May 11 and Daniel McCutchen closed out the game for the win (4.1 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts).\

The Sooners took game one, 5-1, against No. 5 Nebraska in the three-game set on Thursday at L. Dale Mitchell Park, but the Sooners offense could not get going in game two and the defense fell apart in the series finale, as OU lost the series, 2-1.

Daniel McCutchen was brilliant in the series opener.  McCutchen pitched a complete game, the first of his career, in which he allowed just one run on six hits, while striking out nine. After Nebraska tied the series on Friday with an 8-1 victory, OU suffered a 7-1 defeat in the rubber game of the series. Saturday’s loss handed the Sooners just their fifth home loss in 23 games and it also marked the first time that OU suffered back-to-back losses at home this season.




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