Oct. 13, 2000
Up Close and Personal
NORMAN, Okla. - The Oklahoma baseball team closed out its Friday afternoon workouts with an intrasquad game to complete its third full week of fall practice. Head Coach Larry Cochell focused on the play of both the outfielders and infielders in his weekly practice report. Cochell is faced with the task of replacing three All-Big 12 selections from a season ago in the infield and an All-American in the outfield.
"Despite losing the majority of our players in the field, we still expect to be very solid defensively in the spring," commented Cochell. "We have a lot of outstanding talent coming in and competing for those available positions in both the outfield and infield."
One notable newcomer in the infield is senior Greg Dobbs, a transfer from Long Beach State. In his junior year at Long Beach State, Dobbs garnered second-team All-Big West Conference honors after leading the 49ers in hitting with a .376 average. A third baseman at LBSU, the Moreno Valley, Calif., native is projected to play first base for OU.
Several players will be vying to help solidify the middle and left sides of the infield. All-Big 12 third baseman Jason Bartlett, the team's lone returning starter in the infield, will be making a position change to either shortstop or second base. Other potential candidates to fill the remaining spots are juniors Sergio Garcia and Charlie Frasier and freshmen Denver Kitch and Matt Fisher. Garcia earned conference Most Valuable Player and honorable mention accolades in two years at Cerritos (Cailf.) Community College as the team's starting shortstop, while Frasier, a third baseman at Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, is the third junior college All-American to attend Oklahoma in as many years. Kitch and Fisher were both All-State high school shortstops their senior years.
"We feel good about the personnel we have to fill the roles in the infield," said Cochell. "Jason is on track to have another strong year for us both offensively and defensively, and we have some premier guys that can fill the other roles."
In the outfield, the right field and left field positions were left vacant by the departures of All-American Jeff Bajenaru and Sean Murphy. Senior Jerome Godsey returns to roam centerfield again this season after finishing second on the team in batting in 2000 with a .353 average. Godsey also sported a .989 fielding percentage, tops among all outfielders. Senior Bryan King, junior Zach Harris, sophomore Jeremy Constantino and freshmen Tyler Johnson, Alex Sianez and Ryan Welborn are all contenders to start in right and left field. Cochell stressed that one of the outfield's strengths lies in the speed that each of the players possess.
"We have a lot of team speed in the outfield," noted Cochell. "Alex Sianez and Ryan Welborn are both outstanding outfielders who run well and we are very pleased with the play of Zach Harris."
Fall practice continues through next week and concludes Oct. 27. In next week's fall practice report, Cochell plans to talk about the progress of the team's pitching.
The following is a list of outfielders and infielders on the OU baseball roster during the fall season.
Jeremy Constantino, So., 6-0, 190, R/R, Euless, Texas (Shady Grove Christian Academy)
Jerome Godsey, Sr., 5-11, 185, L/L, Santa Rosa, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC)
Zach Harris, Jr., 5-11, 180, L/R, Newport, Ark. (Pratt CC)
Tyler Johnson, Fr., 6-3, 220, L/R, Tulsa, Okla. (Jenks HS)
Bryan King, Sr., 5-11, 175, S/R, Bethany, Okla. (Arkansas)
Alex Sianez, Fr., 5-8, 150, S/R, Oklahoma City, Okla. (Capitol Hill HS)
Ryan Welborn, Fr., 6-3, 175, L/R, Yukon, Okla. (Yukon HS)
Aaron Adair, So., 6-2, 185, S/R, Dallas, Texas (Trinity Christian Academy)
Clark Baggett, So., 6-0, 195, R/R, Waxahachie, Texas (Navarro JC)
Jason Bartlett, Sr., 6-0, 175, R/R, Lodi, Calif. (San Joaquin Delta CC)
Greg Dobbs, Sr., 6-1, 215, L/R, Moreno Valley, Calif. (Long Beach State)
Ben Duval, So., 6-1, 190, R/R, Lincoln, Neb. (Lincoln Christian)
Matt Fisher, Fr., 5-9, 165, R/R, Chatsworth, Calif. (Chatsworth HS)
Charlie Frasier, Jr., 6-2, 215, L/R, Napa, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC)
Sergio Garcia, Jr., 5-10, 175, R/R, Paramount, Calif. (Cerritos CC)
Chris Haggard, Jr., 6-0, 190, R/R, Tulsa, Okla. (Oklahoma State)
Eliot Joyner, Sr., 5-9, 193, R/R, Fontana, Calif. (Cerritos CC)
Denver Kitch, Fr., 6-2, 170, R/R, Yukon, Okla. (Yukon HS)
John Erick Munneke, Sr., 6-0, 180, S/R, Oklahoma City, Okla. (NEO A&M JC)
Blair Robinson, Fr., 5-8, 140, R/R, Allen, Texas (Allen HS)
Sean Smith, Sr., 6-0, 220, R/R, Coppell, Texas (Navarro JC)