Feb. 26, 2001

A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA

Sooners Travel To Arlington

Oklahoma looks to extend its current three-game winning streak when it travels to Arlington, Texas, to face Texas-Arlington on Tuesday. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. at Allan Saxe Stadium.

The contest is the first of two meetings between the two schools this season. UTA travels to Norman on May 2 to conclude the home-and-home series.

Last Time Out

Oklahoma swept both games of a Sunday doubleheader from Kansas, 4-3 and 10-4, to complete a three-game sweep in its Big 12 Conference opening series at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The sweep marked the first time OU has swept KU in a three-game series since 1997.

Oklahoma fought back in the ninth inning from a 3-1 deficit in the first game. Junior designated hitter Charlie Frasier (2-for-4) and senior catcher Sean Smith (1-for-2) led off the Sooners' half of the ninth with consecutive singles. Both baserunners were advanced on a sacrifice bunt by junior rightfielder Zach Harris (0-for-3) and then driven home on triple by senior leftfielder Bryan King (1-for-4) to tie the game. Junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (1-for-4) then delivered a game-winning single to score King.

In game two, the Sooner offense exploded with 10 runs, five on three home runs, while four OU hurlers held KU to only four runs on four hits. Senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey (3-for-4) led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer to get the Sooners on the scoreboard early. Trailing Kansas 4-1 in the third frame, Oklahoma spotted four runs in the inning, three on a home run by Frasier (1-for-4), to claim the lead in the game for good.

Senior righthander Austin Coose evened his record at 1-1 on the season with the win in game one, while senior righty Matt Sorensen (1-2) picked up the victory in game two.

At The Plate

As a team, Oklahoma is batting .295 with 15 home runs and 76 RBIs ... The Sooners' batting average raised 15 points after their weekend performance against the Jayhawks ... Oklahoma batted .347 (35-for-101) during the Kansas series ... OU outscored KU 24-16 ... OU hit four home runs this weekend, including two by junior designated hitter Charlie Frasier ... Frasier leads all Sooners with five homers ... Oklahoma is being out-scored 77-92 and out-hit 130-140 by the opposition ... Junior shortstop Sergio Garcia belted his first career home run in game two against Kansas on Sunday ... The home run gives the Sooners eight different players that have hit roundtrippers so far this season ... The accomplishment also established that eight out of the nine regular starters have hit home runs ... Second baseman Matt Fisher is the only starter that has failed to hit a home run ... Senior first baseman Greg Dobbs was the team's leading hitter last week ... Dobbs hit at a .588 clip (10-for-17) and scored four runs while driving in four more ... Dobbs also posted multi-hit performances in all four games last week.

On The Mound

The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 5.40 ERA and has allowed 68 earned runs in 113.1 innings pitched ... The staff's ERA dropped 23 points during the Kansas series ... OU has struck out 82 batters while issuing 52 walks ... Oklahoma is allowing opponents to hit .300 against them ... Seven different pitchers have received starting assignments ... The bullpen has given up 13 unearned runs and allowed eight inherited runners to score ... Righty Austin Mix leads all hurlers with 26 strikeouts ... Mix struck out 10 batters in his last start ... The sophomore also owns a 5.2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

DIAMOND NOTES

* Oklahoma swept Kansas in a three-game series last weekend for the first time since 1997.

* The sweep marks the second consecutive year that the Sooners have opened Big 12 Conference play with a sweep. Oklahoma defeated Kansas State in three games last year to begin league play.

* OU played its first errorless contest of the season on Sunday by not committing an error in the second game of the doubleheader against KU.

* Through the first 13 games of the 2001 season, the Sooners have swiped 20 bases in 28 attempts. In comparison, the 2000 squad was 21-of-28 in stolen bases through 13 games.

* The Sooners improved to 5-1 on the season at home and 2-2 in doubleheader action on the year.

* Beginning with this weekend's three-game set versus Northwestern at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Oklahoma will enjoy its longest homestand of the season with eight-straight games at home.

* Designated hitter Charlie Frasier played a major role in all three comebacks against KU over the weekend. The junior accounted for the decisive game-winning home run in the 10-9 OU win in the series opener, singled and scored a run in the Sooners' three-run ninth inning comeback in game one on Sunday and belted a three-run homer to give Oklahoma the lead for good in game two when they trailed 4-2.

AT THE PLATE: UTA

Scouting The Mavericks

UTA, with its 9-2 overall record, is off to its best start in eight years. The Mavericks have won their last two contests, over Oral Roberts (6-4) and Dallas Baptist (8-1), and are winners of five of the last six. UTA's only two losses on the season have come at the hands of Southwest Missouri State (6-2) and Baylor (5-2). The Mavericks opened the season with two upset victories over nationally-ranked opponents Arizona State and Texas.

As a team, the Mavericks have combined solid hitting and pitching to account for their early success. Daniel Ortmeier leads a UTA team that is hitting .302 and is outscoring its opponents, 61-35. The sophomore outfielder tops all regular starters with a .357 average and leads the team in doubles with seven.

The pitching staff is registering a 2.65 ERA and does not have a pitcher with an ERA over eight. Freshman righthander Darrell Preston is expected to make his first start of his career against the Sooners. Preston is credited with a 1-0 record and has not allowed an earned run in three appearances, covering a span of 3.1 innings pitched.

More On UTA

* The Mavericks have improved drastically over their early-season performance last year. UTA is batting .302 and its pitchers are posting a 2.65 ERA as opposed to a .261 batting average and a 5.05 ERA a year ago.

* Six different players are hitting for a .300 clip or better.

* UTA is outscoring its opponents 25-6 through the first three innings.

* The Mavs are on pace to steal 166 bases this season. They are 18-of-34 in the category on the season.

* Nine of UTA's 11 hurlers own a 3.00 ERA or less.

* The pitching staff owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.27:1.

* Of the 10 outs that freshman pitcher Darrell Preston has recorded on the season, nine of them are strikeouts.

* Preston has also seen action this season as a first baseman, at third base and in the designated hitter role. He is batting .224 (11-for-49) with six runs scored and six RBIs in 11 starts in the field.

MORE ON OKLAHOMA

Weekend Jump Start

Oklahoma opened Big 12 Conference play and ended its seven-game losing streak with a three-game sweep over Kansas last weekend. The Sooner offense batted .347 during the series and scored four runs and belted four home runs, while the pitching staff posted a .467 ERA, fanned 26 batters and held the Jayhawk hitters to a .263 batting average.

OU's fielding continued to improve as they committed only four errors over the three-game set, including their first errorless game of the season in the series finale, after registering 17 errors the previous weekend.

Surprise Performer

Senior Sean Smith, who joined the 2001 squad in the fall after being absent from college baseball for the last two years, has become one of the team's top performers. Smith has started seven of the last eight games, four as the designated hitter and his last three starts have been in the catcher's role.

Smith is currently the team's third best hitter for average with a .333 mark. On the season, the Coppell, Texas, native has scored four runs and driven in four more, including his first career home run.

As the team's catcher, Smith is hitting at a .375 clip (3-for-8) with two runs scored and has thrown out 2-of-4 runners attempting to steal. In the designated hitter role, Smith batted .308 (4-for-13) with a home run and four RBIs. Smith was also the team's second-leading RBI producer over the four-game span.