May 16, 2001

A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA

Sooners Begin Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Tournament
The Oklahoma baseball team (23-31-1, 13-16-1 Big 12) heads into the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament this week ranked as the seventh seed in the tournament. The Sooners will face the No. 2 seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders (39-16-1, 19-10-1 Big 12) in their first game at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

No. 3 Texas (34-22, 19-11 Big 12) and No. 6 Texas A&M (30-26, 15-15 Big 12) are the other two teams on the same side of the bracket as Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

Last Time Out
The Oklahoma baseball team suffered its first sweep in the Bedlam baseball series since 1980 after falling, 13-5, to Oklahoma State in the series finale Sunday afternoon at the Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark. OSU pounded out 15 hits in the game, including three home runs, to defeat OU as the Cowboys pulled even in the all-time series between the two schools at 129-129.

After OSU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after an inning of play, OU junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (1-for-3) single-handedly knotted the game at one with a solo homer to left field at the top of the second frame.

Leading 6-2 in the fifth inning, OSU scored three more runs off OU starter Austin Mix (3-8). Three of the runs came off of home runs by designated hitter Luke Scott (2-for-4), a two-run shot, and catcher Rob Watson (2-for-3), a solo homer, and extended the Pokes' lead to 9-2.

Down 10-2 entering the seventh inning, the Sooners closed the gap to 10-5 with three runs. Garcia turned a lead-off walk into a run as he scored the first run in the frame on a passed ball and junior rightfielder Zach Harris (0-for-2) scored on a RBI-double by senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey (2-for-5). Godsey then scored two batters later when Dobbs delivered a RBI-single. Dobbs' 2-for-5 day at the plate extended his hitting streak to 15 games, a new career high.

At The Plate
As a team, Oklahoma is batting .298 with 46 home runs and 297 RBIs ... In Big 12 Conference games, the squad is hitting .294 with 25 home runs and 146 RBIs ... As of May 14, OU stood in fifth place in the Big 12 in hitting and fifth in conference games only ... Senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs ranks among the nation's elite in two categories, batting average (16th) and doubles (t-10th) ... Among the Big 12 Conference leaders: Dobbs - batting average (first), hits (first), doubles (first), RBIs (fourth), total bases (first), on base percentage (fifth) and slugging percentage (third), Jerome Godsey - batting average (15th) and hits (t-sixth), and Charlie Frasier - home runs (fifth) and RBIs (t-fifth).

On The Mound
The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 5.25 ERA and has allowed 279 earned runs in 478.2 innings pitched ... In Big 12 Conference games only, the staff owns a 5.63 ERA with 161 earned runs given up in 257.1 innings pitched ... As of May 14, OU stood in 10th place in the Big 12 in staff ERA and ninth in league games only ... The staff's five complete games this season is the highest total since 1998 when the team also recorded five complete games ... Among the Big 12 Conference leaders: Austin Mix - strikeouts (third), innings pitched (fifth) and games started (t-first), Rocky Cherry - wins (t-fifth), Mark Roberts - appearances (t-fourth).

Big 12 Tournament Notes
Oklahoma ia seeded seventh in this year's Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament ... OU is scheduled to begin tournament action on Wednesday versus No. 2 seed Texas Tech ... No. 3 seed Texas and No. 6 seed Texas A&M are both on Oklahoma's side of the tourney bracket ... The Sooners own a 9-7 record over the four-year history of the Big 12 Conference Tournament ... OU christened the inaugural tournament in 1997 by winning the first tournament championship ... Oklahoma won the championship that year by defeating Texas Tech, 19-17, in the final game ... It became the third conference tournament championship won by the Sooners in program history ... The program won two other conference tournament championships as part of the Big Eight Conference in 1977 and 1979 ... OU went 2-2 in last year's tournament ... Oklahoma won its first two games over Oklahoma State (9-8) and Missouri (12-6) before falling twice to eventual tournament champ Nebraska (1-3 & 1-6) ... The Sooners are 2-2 versus the Red Raiders in conference tournament history ... OU picked up both wins in 1997 and both losses in 1998 ... Oklahoma is also 2-2 against Texas A&M in tournament history and has yet to face Texas in tourney action ... The Sooners have never been eliminated from the tournament after the first two games.

AT THE PLATE: No. 2 TEXAS TECH

A Look Back At OU-TTU 2001 . . .
Game 1 - TTU 9, OU 3 - Oklahoma opened a three-game set against Texas Tech at L. Dale Mitchell Park with a 9-3 loss Friday night in game one of the series. The two teams engaged in a tight 3-3 ballgame until the final three innings when the Red Raiders exploded for three runs each in the seventh and eighth innings.

TTU broke the tie in the seventh inning with a two-run homer by leftfielder Jason Rainey (1-for-5). Tech added a third run in the frame off of Sooner starter Rocky Cherry (6-5), who was charged with the loss after giving up six of the Red Raider runs. The Red Raiders increased their lead in the next inning with three more runs off of OU relievers Buddy Blair and Michael Bradbury.

Game 2 - OU 6, TTU 5 - Oklahoma rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come from behind and defeat No. 30 Texas Tech, 6-5, in baseball action Saturday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Junior first baseman Charlie Frasier (2-for-4) was the offensive hero of the night for the Sooners driving in the winning run with a two out RBI single that plated junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (2-for-4). Oklahoma freshman Mark Roberts (1-2) picked up his first career win after relieving starter Evan Greusel in the eighth inning and striking out four of the five batters he faced in the game, including the side in the ninth. OU's win snapped a TTU nine-game winning streak and a six-game losing skid to the Red Raiders at L. Dale Mitchell Park dating back to 1997.

Freshman second baseman Matt Fisher (2-for-3) began OU's comeback in the eighth with a leadoff single, followed by a walk to senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey (1-for-3) and a fielder's choice, nailing Fisher out at third, by senior third baseman Jason Bartlett (0-for-4). With runners at second and first, Garcia delivered a single to bring home Godsey from second and move Bartlett over to third. After senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs (1-for-4) struck out for the second out of the inning, senior designated hitter Sean Smith (3-for-4) singled home Bartlett to tie the game before Frasier knocked in the winning run in the next at bat.

Game 3 - OU 7, TTU 7 - Oklahoma used two home runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull even with No. 30 Texas Tech, 7-7, and force extra innings Sunday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The game was suspended at the end of the top half of the 10th inning due to rain and finally called after a 44-minute delay because of Sunday travelling conflicts for the Red Raiders. The home runs, back-to-back shots by senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs (4-for-5) and senior designated hitter Sean Smith (3-for-5), brought Oklahoma from behind for the second-straight game in the series. The tie is the first for OU since a 9-9 tie at home against Cameron University in 1980.

Dobbs went deep to right field with a three-run homer to bring with Sooners within one before Smith stepped to the plate in the next at bat and sent the first pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at seven. Dobbs' four-hit performance, along with his four RBIs, were game highs and left him a hit short of hitting for the cycle for the third time this season. Smith also registered his second-consecutive three-hit effort of the series. The Sooner offense, which produced its 11th double-digit hit performance in the last 14 games, used clutch hitting to score five of its seven runs with two outs. OU also stole five bases in the game, including two by Dobbs.