NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners (17-11 overall , 3-3 Big 12) will look to bounce back after dropping two games to Baylor over the weekend with a three-game set against (Kansas 23-12, 2-4) at home this weekend.
The action gets underway on Friday at 7 p.m. with games on Saturday and Sunday to follow at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
The Sooners lead the all-time series with KU with an 89-45 advantage. Included in those 134 meetings, the Sooners are 34-10 at home and 31-20 under head coach Larry Cochell, who is 15-11 when the Sooners are playing the Jayhawks in Norman.
The three-game series between OU and Kansas 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.
STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
Friday, April 8
KU - M. Zagurski, LHP (4-2, 4.06 ERA)
OU - S. Guerra, RHP (3-1, 3.32 ERA)
Saturday, April 9
KU - S. Land, LHP (3-2, 5.40 ERA)
OU - W. Savage, RHP (3-2, 3.35 ERA)
Sunday, April 10
KU - K. Quick, RHP (7-3, 3.51 ERA)
OU - B. Burns, RHP (1-0, 3.55 ERA)
Overall Record: 23-12, Big 12: 2-4 | Rankings: NA
After rattling off eight-consecutive wins from March 11-20, including a win over then-No. 9 Nebraska and Wichita State, the Jayhawks have dropped four of their last six games. KU is 2-3 in its last five games, topping Texas A&M and Wichita State. Kansas sits at 2-4 in the conference, dropping two games apiece to the Cornhuskers and Aggies, after winning the series opener in both sets. Outside of the Big 12 conference, the Jayhawks have also faced two other ranked opponents (Stanford and Mississippi State) and hold an 0-5 mark in those contests.
Offensively, KU has nine regulars batting over .300 with freshman John Allman (OF) leading the club with a .366 average (26-for-71). Allman’s numbers only improve in Big 12 action as the youngster is hitting at a .429 clip (6-for-14). The KU offense also hits for power with 31 homers as a team in 35 games (3rd in the Big 12) and seven Jayhawks have recorded 20 or more RBI this season. Junior A.J. Van Slyke (OF), son of 14-year MLB veteran Andy Van Slyke, paces the team with 33 RBI and six home runs. Van Slyke has struggled in six Big 12 games, the junior is batting just .182 with four hits and four RBI.
On the mound, junior right-hander Kodiak Quick is 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA has proven to be KU’s most consistent starter with 40 strike outs. Big 12 opponents have not been kind to Kodiak, he is win less in two starts and four appearances with a 6.00 ERA. Mike Zagurski (LHP), who is 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA, is expected to get the starting nod on Friday followed by (LHP) Sean Land (3-2, 5.4 ERA) on Saturday and Quick in the series finale on Sunday.
GAME TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS
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. Promotions for the weekend include:
Friday, April 8 - 7 p.m.
-Big 12 Baseball Night- One fan will have the chance to win a Big 12 Baseball t-shirt, Big 12 on-line store gift certificate and a Phillips 66 $10 gas card
Saturday, April 9 - 2 p.m.
-Mom’s Day -Giveaway - Sooner AM/FM hand held radios and OU Trucker Hats
-Car Show (12:00 p.m. - 2 p.m.)
- Exotic Cars & Hot Rods will be on display in the Lloyd Noble parking lot across from L. Dale Mitchell Park
-Fan Zone (12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.) - Inflatable interactive games will be available
-Run the Bases - kids can run around the bases after the game
-Oklahoma players and coaches will be signing autographs after the game
Sunday, April 10 - 1 p.m.
-Sunday Church Bulletin -Bring your church bulletin to the game and receive a $3 general admission ticket
LAST MEETING WITH KANSAS
The Sooners swept the Jayhawks in a three-game series at Hoglund Park a year ago by outscoring KU 18-8. OU won 8-2, 5-4 and 5-2 to complete the sweep. Ryan Rohlinger owned the hot bat for the weekend as the then-sophomore went 7-for-13 in the series with an RBI and five runs scored. Matt Bose also fared well against KU’s pitching as he batted .455 (5-for-11) in the series with three RBI. Jeff Scuderi launched OU’s only homer, a three-run shot in game one, of the series and collected six RBI in the set. The Sooners also received stellar pitching from their starters as Mark Roberts lasted eight innings (5 hits, 2 runs, 8 SO) and David Purcey threw 6.1 frames (5 hits, 1 run, 8 SO).
SOONERS CAREER NUMBERS VERSUS KANSAS
Below is a look at some of the Sooners’ career numbers over the past three years against the Jayhawks in nine meetings (6 wins, 3 losses). Matt Bose is the only Sooner to play in all nine meetings.
BURNS RECORDS ANOTHER “W”, FINALLY
Outside of the one earned run, freshman pitcher Burns kept Baylor’s offense silent last Saturday as the right-hander left the game after five innings without allowing a hit. Burns left the game with tightness in his shoulder. The hurler walked three and struck out four Bears in his sixth start and eighth appearance of 2005. Kevin Smith and Freddy Rodriguez produced RBI singles in the sixth inning to give OU a 4-1 lead and that helped Brad Burns (2-0) record his first decision in over a month. Burns only other decision of the season was a win on Feb. 21 versus Eastern Illinois.
STARTING ROTATION IN BIG 12 PLAY
The Sooners current weekend rotation of Steven Guerra, Will Savage and Brad Burns had a tough weekend after putting together solid performances against Texas A&M a week ago. Against Baylor, the trio allowed nine earned runs over 16.1 innings thrown (5.03 ERA) and posted 10 strikeouts and just five walks. In the only other three games (vs. A&M) of Big 12 play, in 23 innings pitched, the hurlers posted an impressive 1.56 ERA with 13 strikeouts and just three walks. OU’s pitching staff ranks third in the league with a 3.57 ERA, third in earned runs allowed (21) and first in fewest walks issued (12).
ROHLINGER STILL LEADING THE WAY
Junior Ryan Rohlinger continues to lead the Sooners offensive charge this season as he leads the team in batting average (.342) and hits (38) in addition to being tied for the team lead in RBI (25) and triples (2). Rohlinger moved to the No. 4 hole in the lineup on March 19 after he had hit safely in the previous 11 games with 15 RBI. In his first day batting cleanup, the West Bend, Wisc., native went 2-for-3 with an RBI at Arizona State. The very next day, his career-high 12-game hitting streak ended on an 0-for-5 day at the plate. Since then, in the last eight games, the junior has struggled collecting just six hits in 29 at-bats with five RBI.
The Sooners improved to 13-2 at home after recording a 7-5 win over Dallas Baptist on March 29. In its 15 games played at L. Dale Mitchell Park, OU is hitting .338 as a team and has significantly outscored the opposition, 155-73. All but one of the Sooners’ 12 home runs this season have been hit in their home park. Twenty-one of Kevin Smith’s team-leading 24 RBI have come at home. The junior is hitting .408 with a .612 slugging percentage in the 15 games. Left-handed pitcher Garrett Patterson has also enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd. The junior is 3-0 in three starts at L. Dale Mitchell Park with 23 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched and a 2.37 ERA.
Seniors Eric Thornton, Matt Bose and Jeff Scuderi were named the team’s captains before the Dallas Baptist game on March 29. The trio combined for 178 appearances last season (163 starts) and were accountable for a third of the team’s RBI (101/329) and over a quarter of the runs scored (104/387).
TOP 25 OPPOSITION
The Sooners face six different schools throughout the season (combined 17 games) ranked in either the Baseball America or Sports Weekly/ESPN top 25 polls this week (two in the top 3). More than half of those contests occur in Big 12 competition as Texas (1/1), Texas A&M (18/18), Baylor (15/17) and Nebraska (17/10) are all currently ranked in the top 25. The Sooners have already played five ranked opponents after defeating Texas A&M in two games and then-No. 22 TCU and dropping two games to Baylor and single games to No. 2/2 Cal State Fullerton and then-No. 12 Arizona State, 7-0 and 7-5 respectively.