NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners (12-8) are coming off their first three-game losing streak of the season after being swept by Arizona State over the weekend in Tempe, Ariz. OU lost two close games, 5-4 on Friday and 6-5 on Sunday and suffered a 5-1 defeat on Saturday to the Sun Devils.
The Sooners will try to snap the losing skid on Tuesday, March 22, in Fort Worth, Texas against No. 22 (Baseball America) Texas Christian (14-7).
The OU versus TCU game will be broadcast live on KOKC (1520 AM) with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play. All times and availability are subject to change. Live stats will also be available through SoonerSports.com.
Record: 14-7 | Rankings: Baseball America-22
The Horned Frogs enter Tuesday’s contest after losing their last contest in extra innings (10) to Southern Mississippi. In its last ten games, TCU has gone 6-4 and included in that span was a 2-1 win over then-No. 5 Rice and a 9-2 triumph of then-No. 21 Texas Tech. After taking two of three games against Sourthern Mississippi, the Horned Frogs saw a lot of movement in this week’s polls. They moved up two spots in the Baseball America poll and come in ranked No. 22. However, TCU dropped out of the ESPN/Sports Weekly poll after holding down the No. 25 spot a week ago. Five different Horned Frogs boast double-digit RBI totals after 21 games this season. Shelby Ford leads the bunch with 18 RBI and is third on the team in batting average (.346) and tied for second in homers (2). Andrew Walker has slightly better numbers as he owns the team’s top average (based on 50 or more at-bats) with a .356 clip and leads the team in home runs (4) and is tied for second on the team in RBI (16). On the TCU mound, Lance Broadway is 4-1 in five starts this season where he has recorded 46 strikeouts and a 1.75 ERA. However, the likely starter on Tuesday for TCU will be Tim McGough (RHP). McGough has made four starts this season and is 2-0 in those appearances. The right-hander has struck out 16 batter in 20.1 innings pitched and owns the team’s lowest ERA, 1.33. TCU is coached by fourth-year head coach Jim Schlossnagle and OU is 20-10, under head coach Larry Cochell, against the Horned Frogs.
LAST MEETING WITH TCU
OU and TCU met twice last season during a home/away series and the Horned Frogs topped the Sooners in both instances. Ranked No. 23, OU went to Fort Worth and was handed a 6-3 defeat despite out hitting TCU 9-7. When the two met in Norman, OU was again the only team ranked (No. 13) and was once again upset by the Horned Frogs. TCU held the advantage in the hit column (12-6) in game two and held off a late ninth inning rally by the Sooners to win 5-4.
BIG 12 OPENER
Oklahoma will open Big 12 play with No. 14/15 (Baseball America/ESPN-Sports Weekly) Texas A&M at home this weekend with the series opener slated for Thursday at 7 p.m. The two will continue the series on Friday at 7 p.m. and the finale is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start on Saturday. The Aggies already have three games under their belt in Big 12 play after taking one game away from Texas Tech in a three-game series in Lubbock last weekend.
ROHLINGER’S HOT BAT SILENCED IN ARIZONA
Junior Ryan Rohlinger’s career-high hitting streak of 12 games came to an end against Arizona State in Tempe on Sunday. Entering the game, Rohlinger had collected 26 hits (3 doubles, two triples, home run) and 16 RBI over the last 12 games but the 0-for-5 performance against the Sun Devils in the final game of the series ended that streak. Rohlinger still leads the team in batting average (.390), hits (32) and is second on the team with 20 RBI. The West Bend, Wisc., native’s previous best hitting streak was established last year on two occassions, when he reached a hitting streak of eight consecutive games.
The Sooners’s troubles continued last weekend when they were swept in three games against Arizona State in Tempe. So far this season, OU is 2-7 in games played away from the friendly confines of L. Dale Mitchell Park. Five of those contests have been played at neutral sites with OU participating in two tournaments this season (Coca-Cola Classic and the KIA Bash). OU is 0-4 in “true” road games, dropping three contests two ASU and one at then-No. 2 Cal State Fullerton.
Ryan Rohlinger hit the second walk-off home run of his Oklahoma career on March 13 to help the Sooners top Northwestern State and give OU the series win (2-1). Rohlinger drove an 0-2 fastball over the right field fence in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two runners on, to push the Sooners ahead 7-6 for the win. His first career walk-off homer at OU came a year ago in head coach Larry Cochell’s 500th victory at OU. The two-run home run gave the Sooners a 7-5 win over Arkansas-Little Rock on April 27. Rohlinger finished the final game against Northwestern State with a 2-for-3 day that included three RBI and two runs scored.
TOP 25 OPPOSITION
The Sooners face eight different schools throughout the season (combined 20 games) ranked in either the Baseball America or Sports Weekly/ESPN top 25 polls this week (three in the top 10). More than half of those contests occur once Big 12 competition begins as Texas (4/4), Texas A&M (14/15), Baylor (10/11), Nebraska (20/16), Texas Tech (21/19) are all currently ranked in the top 25. TCU (22-Baseball America) and Wichita State (22-ESPN) are the only non-conference opponent left on OU’s schedule. The Sooners have already played two ranked opponents and lost to both Cal State Fullerton (1/1), and then-No. 12 Arizona State, 7-0 and 7-5 respectively.
COMBINED NO-HITTER MARKS FIRST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Six different OU pitchers saw time on the mound to strike out 11 batters and record the first combined no-hitter in school history on March 9 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Sooners’ pitching staff only allowed five base runners for the game on four walks and a hit batsman.
Before the game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, six OU hurlers have thrown a complete game without allowing a hit. The last time an individual Sooner threw a no-hitter occurred when Jim Husling baffled Old Dominion in 1989.
Freshman Kevin Duke made his first career start and set the tone for the rest of the day after lasting three innings and striking out three in the process to record the win. He was followed by junior John Brownell (2.0 innings, 2 strikeouts), junior Daniel McCutchen (1.0 innings, 2 strikeouts), sophomore Ryan Mottern (1.0 innings, 2 strikeouts), junior Will Savage (1.0 innings, strikeout) and junior P.J. Sandoval (1.0 innings, strikeout) who all managed to hold the Golden Lions hitless through nine innings.
The March 9 game was also the first and only game this season that the OU pitching staff held a team scoreless.
Junior Freddy Rodriguez has proved to be a valuable asset to the Sooners’ offense and defense. The versatile infielder, who has played at every position in the infield this season, is second on the team in batting average with a .375 clip. His 15 RBI ranks fifth on the team. The Westminister, Calif., native had his nine-game hitting streak snapped on March 13 but he was able to collect 17 hits and 12 RBI in that span. OU is 4-4 when he starts at first base and 4-2 when he starts at the other infield positions.
The Sooners improved to 10-1 at home after recording a 4-1 mark during their last home stand that consisted of five games. OU was scheduled to play six consecutive games at home before the game on Tuesday, March 15 was rained out against Dallas Baptist. In its 11 games played at L. Dale Mitchell Park, OU is hitting .356 as a team and has significantly outscored the opposition, 138-59. All but one of the Sooners’ 12 home runs this season have been hit in their home park.