NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma (22-17, 6-9) will continue its current stretch of seven games in nine days when it travels to Wichita, Kan., to battle Wichita State (34-13) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Eck Stadium. OU is 6-7 lifetime against Wichita State and has defeated the Shockers just once on their home field in seven chances (1992).
In its last outing, OU dropped two games to Missouri in Columbia last weekend after winning the series opener, 2-1. They will return home after Tuesday’s game to host No. 8/6 Nebraska on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The contest between OU and Wichita State 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. The game will also be televised on ESPN2 (OKC - Cox Channel 28) with play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne and color analyst Kyle Peterson. All times and availability are subject to change. Live stats will also be available through SoonerSports.com.
WICHITA STATE NOTES
Overall Record: 34-13, MVC: 8-4 | Rankings: NA
Wichita State is 4-3 against Big 12 competition this season. The Shockers defeated Kansas in two games (5-1, 11-9) while dropping another to the Jayhawks (13-6). They also defeated Texas Tech (6-5) and Oklahoma State (2-1) and lost two games to Kansas State (6-5, 4-2). WSU is coming off a 10-1 loss to Creighton but have won 10 of their last 13.
Derek Schermerhorn is hitting .374 for the Shockers and leads the team in that category and in hits (70) and RBI (41). Phil Napolitan, who had success off the Sooners last season, is second on the team with a .347 average and sixth on the squad with 21 RBI.
Max Hutson (LHP) will take the mound for WSU on Tuesday against the Sooners. Hutson is 2-1 this season in seven appearances, four of which were starts. The lefty has struck out 17 in 19 innings pitched and owns a 6.16 ERA.
2004 MEETINGS WITH WICHITA STATE
No. 18 Oklahoma threatened to come from behind in the top of the ninth inning but No. 25 Wichita State held on for an 8-7 win on May 18. WSU scored all eight of its runs with two outs and were led by Phil Napolitan, who went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI. The Sooners came close to sweeping the regular season series with the Shockers after winning the first meeting a week earlier, 7-3. Oklahoma took the early lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning during the meeting on May 11 and Daniel McCutchen closed out the game for the win. McCutchen tossed 4.1 innings of shutout ball and allowed two hits while striking out three.
LAST TIME OUT -- SOONERS DROP SERIES TO MISSOURI
After taking the first game of the set against Missouri, the Sooners dropped back-to-back games against the No. 17 Tigers over the weekend.
In the opener, Daniel McCutchen was solid for his second consecutive start, in which he struck out seven batters in 5.1 innings. Garrett Patterson came in to close the door and record the win. Patterson tossed 4.2 innings of shutout ball and struck out eight to help the Sooners win their first extra-inning game, 2-1, of the season. McCutchen and Patterson combined to strike out a season-high 15 batters for the Sooners.
In what appeared to be good starts on Saturday and Sunday by Steven Guerra and Brad Burns, respectively, OU could not hold onto leads in the second and third games of the series. OU lost 10-6 on Saturday and 6-4 on Sunday to remain in seventh place in the Big 12 standings.
ROHLINGER STAYS HOT
Junior Ryan Rohlinger continues to lead the Sooners offensive charge this season as he is tops on the team in batting average (.364) and hits (55) and RBI (33). Rohlinger hit .282 last year with six homers and 32 RBI. Rohlinger has moved up and down the lineup this year, not to mention being moved from shortstop to third base and is currently been hitting out of the three-hole. The West Bend, Wisc., native has hit safely in nine of the last 11 games with a .425 batting average in that span. He has also collected five-multi hit games in the last eight contests to go along with two home runs, eight RBI and a .650 slugging percentage.
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). All but five of those contests occur in Big 12 competition as Texas (1/1), Baylor (11/16), Nebraska (8/6) and Missouri (14/24) are all currently ranked in the top 25. The Sooners have already played seven ranked opponents in 2005 after defeating then-No. 14 Texas A&M in two games, then-No. 22 TCU, Missouri and Baylor in one game each. The Sooners were swept by Texas, lost two games apiece to Baylor and Missouri and dropped a single game to No. 2/2 Cal State Fullerton. The Sooners lost all four meetings with Arizona State this season, but the SunDevils were only ranked in the first game (2/12).
The Sooners won their first road game of the season against TCU on March 22 but continue to struggle with a 3-11 mark. The Sooners have lost just four three-game series so far this season, all on the road (Missouri, Texas, ASU and Baylor). So far this season, OU is 5-14 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 3-11 in “true” road games, dropping three contests at Texas, three at ASU, two at Baylor, two at Missouri and one at then-No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, and is batting just .214 with 35 RBI in those contests.
Last Tuesday’s offensive outburst against UT-Arlington marked the ninth time this season that OU recorded 15 or more hits in a contest and the 12th time it scored 10 or mores runs. Below is a look at the games OU has been hitting at its best, suffering only one defeat in the following games (Nevada):
|Feb. 19||E. Illinois||19||16|
|Feb. 20||E. Illinois||10||13|
|Feb. 27||W. Illinois||11||13|
|Feb. 28||W. Illinois||13||15|
|Mar. 11||NW. ST.||10||18|
|Mar. 12||NW. ST.||15||15|
ESPN FAMILY WILL AIR NEXT FOUR GAMES
The Sooner baseball team (22-17, 6-9) will play four games in the next five days on national television, starting with a contest at Wichita State (34-13, 8-4) on Tuesday, April 26.
OU will then return home to host No. 8 Nebraska (34-8, 10-5) at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The series kicks off on Thursday, April 28 at 6 p.m. on ESPN. The Big 12 series will then switch to ESPNU on Friday and Saturday with 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. start times, respectively.
The game against Wichita State and the series with the Huskers will feature Gary Thorne calling the play-by-play and Kyle Peterson with the color analysis.
The Sooners have made three television appearances so far this season (ESPN2, Fox Sports and ESPNU) two weeks ago against No. 1 Texas.
After this weekend, OU is set for five more games that will be broadcast by the ESPN Network. Following is a look at the Sooners remaining televised games:
All times listed as Central