NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 8 Oklahoma baseball team (35-12 overall, 13-5 Big 12) will conclude the home portion of the 2006 schedule this weekend with Kansas State (25-16-1, 4-13-1) in town. The three-game set begins on Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and first pitch on Sunday is slated for 1 p.m.
OU has won 11 of the last 13 meetings with Kansas State, and has not lost a series against the Wildcats since 2001 (Manhattan).
This weekend’s games will be broadcast live on KOKC 1520 AM with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play and DeWayne Vaughn providing the color analysis. Pregame coverage for all Sooner baseball games, begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
In addition, live stats for all games this season can be viewed on Soonersports.com. The complete series will be webcast live on the O-Zone. Members should log in and visit the live events schedule to watch.
TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS
Seats to this weekend’s games are available for $10 (reserved), $7 (general admission), $5 (youth) and $3 for groups of ten or more at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and at SoonerSports.com. Friday is Oklahoma Women's Basketball Night and head coach Sherri Coale will throw out the first pitch. The game will also mark a salute to hometown heroes as the local EMS, Fire and Police departments will be recognized. Also on Friday, the first 500 fans will receive a free OU Baseball trading card set. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day and the first 250 fans will receive a free OU Baseball Team Picture. At Sunday's finale, the first 500 fans will receive a free OU Baseball trading card set and after the game, kids can run around the bases. Canes Challenge - Fans will be able to win a free combo box with the purchase of a combo box from Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Norman if the Sooners score seven runs or more during each game of the weekend series.
On Sunday before the series finale, the 12 seniors on this year's club will be recognized. Those Sooners include: John Brownell, Chuckie Caufield, Steven Guerra, Daniel McCutchen, Russell Raley, Freddy Rodriguez, Ryan Rohlinger, Scott Rooker, P.J. Sandoval, Will Savage, Jon Shackelford and Kevin Smith.
SOONERS VISIT MIRACLE LEAGUE IN EDMOND
UPDATING THE SOONERS
The No. 8 Sooners could not overcome an early deficit on Tuesday at Eck Stadium as they fell 9-5 to No. 23 Wichita State. The loss was OU’s second straight and it dropped it to 35-12 overall while Wichita State improved to 35-15.
The Sooners tried to piece together a late rally by loading the bases with one out in the ninth frame but Russell Raley’s ground out, which plated Aaron Reza, was all the offense could manage. Wichita State outhit Oklahoma 13-12 and the Sooners stranded 11 runners in the contest.
For OU, the 12-hit performance was the 30th time this season that the offense connected for double-digit hits and just the third time that it suffered a defeat when doing so (Lamar and Arizona State).
Four different Sooners (Reza, Raley, Freddy Rodriguez and Joseph Hughes) connected for two base hits apiece.
John Brownell was effective for the Sooners out of the bullpen, striking out six batters (second highest total of his career) over 6 1/3 innings. Brownell came in for starter Ryan Mottern who pitched one full inning before allowing six earned runs.
SCOUTING KANSAS STATE
The Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 14-1 victory over Kansas Wesleyan. Before that contest, KSU was swept by Oklahoma State at home. Since starting the season 17-1, including a 16-game winning streak, the Wildcats have gone 8-15-1.
-Offensively, senior Joe Roundy leads the team with 46 RBI and is tied for the team lead in home runs with six. Additionally, Roundy’s .391 batting average is second best on the team behind senior Barrett Rice’s .394 clip. Rice is second on the team in RBI with 34 and tied for second with three homers in 2006.
-Sophomore, Brad Hutt will get the starting nod in the series opener on Friday. Hutt is 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA this season in 10 starts. In 64 2/3 innings, the right-hander has struck out 33 and walked 12. In Big 12 play, Hutt is 2-3 with a 4.72 ERA.
-Kansas State is coached by Brad Hill, who is in his third season at the Wildcats’ helm. He is 81-71-1 (.532) in that span. He led the Wildcats to a 10th place finish in the Big 12 last year with a 8-19 mark. Kansas State returns 16 letterwinners and five position starters from a 2005 team that finished 30-25 last year.
-OU leads the all-time series with Kansas State 169-62-1 and is 22-5 since the formation of the Big 12 in 1997. Also in that span, OU has only suffered one series defeat (2001) and is 12-0 when playing in Norman.
PLAYER TO WATCH: JACKSON WILLIAMS
OU will have a full week to prepare for the Annual Bedlam Series presented by The Bank of Oklahoma and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will kick things off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tulsa Drillers’ Stadium. Saturday’s game is slated for 8 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch. Games two and three will be played at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City.
After being ranked in each of the four major polls on March 13, 2006 for the first time since April 19, 2004, the Oklahoma baseball team remained in the all four rankings for the eighth consecutive week and gained ground in three polls. For the 10th consecutive week, OU was ranked in the top 30 by both Collegiate Baseball magazine and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s (NCBWA) polls. OU is No. 11 in Collegiate Baseball and No. 9 in the NCBWA poll. In the USA Today/ESPN poll, OU remained at the No. 8 slot and Baseball America has the Sooners at No. 9. Refer to page six for a complete week-by-week breakdown of the rankings.
OU HISTORY IN TOP 25 POLLS
The last time OU was ranked as high as No. 8 was during the 1998 season (No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball on March 16). In the USA Today/ESPN poll released on March 16 of that year, OU was the No. 7 ranked team in the nation. The 1998 team was ranked as high as No. 3 (CB) on March 9.
STREAK STOPS AT 13
The Sooners’ season high 13-game winning streak was stopped in its last contest versus Kansas. The streak was the longest since the 1985 season when the Sooners strung together 19 consecutive victories. During the recent streak, OU hit .365 as a team with 28 doubles and 16 home runs. Kevin Smith drove in 20 runs during the winning streak and Ryan Rohlinger drove in 17. In addition, Kody Kaiser (15 RBI) was one of four Sooners (Caufield, Rohlinger, Smith) to hit three homers.
Oklahoma has connected for double-digit hits in five of the last six games and as a result, currently own the best batting average with Oklahoma State (.327) in the Big 12. In the last six games, OU has collected 97 hits and is averaging 16.2 hits per game. The Sooners are also averaging 10.6 runs per game in that span.
BIG 12 STANDINGS
Below is a look at the Big 12 standings after action on Wednesday, May 3: