April 11, 2001

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A CLOSER LOOK AT OKLAHOMA

OU Hits The Road For Kansas State Series

Winners of four of their last five games, the Oklahoma Sooners (14-23, 8-10 Big 12) hit the road this weekend for their next action at Kansas State (14-20, 4-14 Big 12). The three-game set begins Friday at 3 p.m. and concludes on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Frank Myers Field in Manhattan, Kan.

As of April 10, Oklahoma stood in seventh place in the Big 12 Conference standings, while Kansas State sat three spots behind the Sooners in 10th place.

Last Time Out

Trailing Arkansas 5-1, Oklahoma rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to close the gap, but the Razorbacks hung on to win 5-4 Tuesday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Arkansas reliever Scott Woods came on in the eighth, after Oklahoma drew within one, to retire the final five batters of the game, three on strikeouts, and pick up his third save of the season.

With the bases loaded in OU's half of the eighth inning, senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs (1-for-3), who was named one of four National Players of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association earlier in the day, ripped a double to right field to clear the bases and pull Oklahoma to within one. Senior centerfielder Jerome Godsey (2-for-3) began the Sooner rally with a one out walk, followed by a hit-by-pitch on senior third baseman Jason Bartlett's (1-for-3) at bat and a single by junior shortstop Sergio Garcia (1-for-3) which advanced both baserunners a base.

Woods then relieved Wes McCrotty, following Dobbs' double, and forced senior catcher Sean Smith (0-for-3) to groundout and ended the rally on a strikeout by junior designated hitter Charlie Frasier (0-for-4).

At The Plate

As a team, Oklahoma is batting .298 with 31 home runs and 207 RBIs ... In Big 12 Conference games, the squad is hitting .304 with 15 home runs and 95 RBIs ... The squad's batting average raised nine points in overall games and 19 points in league games only over the weekend ... As of April 9, OU stood in fifth place in the Big 12 in hitting and ranked second in hitting in conference games only ... OU has pounded out the fifth-most home runs of all the team's in the league ... The Sooners posted six-straight double-digit hit efforts through up until the Arkansas game, the longest stretch of the season ... OU scored first in all three games in the Missouri series ... The team recorded its first four home run effort of the season in Saturday's 13-9 win over the Tigers ... The bottom half of the Sooner starting lineup supplied a lot of the offense last week ... The bottom four batters in the lineup hit .344 (22-for-64) over the four games with 11 runs scored and nine RBIs ... The team's leading hitter over the last five games is Greg Dobbs ... The senior leftfielder batted .579 (11-for-19) with eight runs scored and 14 RBIs.

On The Mound

The Sooner pitching staff is currently sporting a 5.52 ERA and has allowed 197 earned runs in 321.1 innings pitched ... In Big 12 Conference games only, the staff owns a 5.63 ERA with 97 earned runs given up in 155.0 innings pitched ... As of April 9, OU stood in 10th place in the Big 12 in staff ERA and eighth in league games only ... Through four games last week, the pitching staff posted a 3.75 ERA and allowed only 15 earned runs in 36 innings of work ... Friday and Saturday's starters, juniors Rocky Cherry and Evan Greusel, did not give up an earned run over 15 innings combined ... Cherry picked up his team-leading sixth victory in the Sooners' 6-0 shutout of Missouri ... The junior righthander pitched a no-hitter through four innings and a one-hitter through 7.1 innings ... Senior reliever Austin Coose improved to 4-2 on the season after picking up two wins last week against TCU on Tuesday and Missouri on Saturday.

DIAMOND NOTES

* Last week's four-game winning streak was the team's longest of the season.

* The sweep of Missouri marked the second Big 12 Conference team Oklahoma has swept this season. The other sweep came against Kansas earlier in the year.

* The Missouri sweep marked the second time in as many seasons that the Sooners have swept the Tigers in a three-game regular season series.

* OU's 6-0 shutout victory over Missouri Friday night was the Sooners' first shutout of an opponent in over two seasons.

* The Sooner offense registered six-straight double-digit hit performances last week.

* Senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs finished just short of hitting for the cycle in two games last week. In Tuesday's 9-5 win over TCU, Dobbs was short a single and in Saturday's 13-9 victory over Missouri, he lacked a triple to accomplish the rare feat.

* Dobbs established a new career high hitting streak with a 1-for-3 effort on Tuesday versus Arkansas, extending his streak to 12-consecutive games.

* Junior starting pitcher Rocky Cherry carried a no-hitter through four innings and a one-hitter through 7.1 innings en route to a two-hit shutout through eight innings last Friday versus Missouri.

MORE ON OKLAHOMA

A Near Perfect Week

Oklahoma went a perfect 4-0 last week after beginning the week with a 9-5 win over TCU and then sweeping Missouri to compile the team's longest winning streak of the season at four games. The Sooners put together the brief streak with a mix of solid pitching and explosive offense.

At the plate, OU batted .381 as a team with seven home runs and 37 runs scored. The team recorded double-digit hit efforts in each game and registered its first four home run game of the season in Saturday's 13-9 win over the Tigers. Senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs led the team offensively by batting .625 (10-for-16) with four home runs, eight runs scored and 11 RBIs.

On the mound, Sooner hurlers combined for a 3.75 ERA and only allowed 15 earned runs in 36 innings pitched. Junior righthander Rocky Cherry highlighted the week with a two-hit shutout through eight frames in Friday night's contest en route to OU's 6-0 game one victory against Missouri, Oklahoma's first shutout in over two years.

Dobbs Honored As Big 12 Conference and NCBWA Player Of The Week

After putting up impressive offensive numbers last week in which he batted .625 with four home runs in as many games, Oklahoma senior leftfielder Greg Dobbs was recognized as the Big 12 Conference Baseball Player of the Week on Monday and garnered the NCBWA National Player of the Week award on Tuesday. Dobbs, who is batting .418 on the season with six home runs and 39 RBIs, posted three multi-hit and four multi-RBI performances over the four-game stretch, including just missing hitting for the cycle by one hit twice. The senior ended the week scoring eight runs and driving in 11 more while leading the Sooners to a perfect 4-0 week, including a three-game sweep of the Missouri Tigers on the road.

Dobbs' numbers for the week finished off with 10 hits in 16 at bats, including three doubles, a triple and four home runs (one in each game). He also registered a 1.688 slugging percentage and a .714 on base percentage.

On Fire At First Base

After taking over the starting role at first base over a week ago, senior John Erick Munneke has been one of the Sooners' hottest hitters in the lineup. In the first six games since he became the starting first baseman last week, Munneke was the team's third-best offensive performer. Batting mostly out of the seventh hole in the lineup, Munneke hit .458 (11-for-24) with four runs scored and RBIs, three doubles and blasted his first career home run. Munneke's week also included five multi-hit performances and at least one RBI in four of the six contests.

Just Short Of The Cycle (Again!)

Greg Dobbs fell just short of accomplishing one of the rare individual feats in baseball twice last week. The senior leftfielder collected a double, triple and home run last Tuesday against TCU, but failed to pick up a single to complete the hitting cycle. On the night, Dobbs' scored three runs and collected four RBIs to tie season highs for the senior.

Two games later, on Saturday at Missouri, the Moreno Valley, Calif., native went 4-for-4 with a single, two doubles and a home run while lacking a triple to complete the cycle. Dobbs again tied his season high for runs scored with three in the game.

AT THE PLATE: KANSAS STATE

Scouting The Wildcats

Kansas State (14-20, 4-14 Big 12) enters this weekend's games against Oklahoma winners of three of its last four contests. On Monday and Tuesday, the Wildcats knocked off Maryland in two games, 11-8 and 10-8, after picking up a lone Big 12 Conference victory versus Oklahoma State last weekend.

Senior catcher Josh Cavender leads a KSU squad that is batting .269 as a team with 18 home runs and 184 runs scored. Cavender tops the club in batting average with a .341 mark. Another offensive star for Kansas State is junior shortstop Osmar Castillo who is hitting at a .326 clip and leads the team in runs scored with 28 and hits with 44.

On the hill, Kansas State hurlers have combined for a 6.30 team ERA and have allowed 201 earned runs to score in 287.1 innings of work. Opponents are batting .298 against KSU. The Wildcats are led in wins by junior righthander Luke Robertson. The junior righthander has compiled a 4-5 record and a 6.28 ERA so far this season. KSU also sports one of the conference's top closers in senior lefthander Kelvin Day. Day has recorded four saves on the season, which ties him for fifth-best in the league.

Robertson is projected to start for Kansas State on Friday, followed by sophomore righthander Kevin Melcher (1-2, 5.16 ERA) on Saturday and junior lefty Brock Smith (1-2, 7.42 ERA) on Sunday.