Baseball Opens Big 12 Play Friday at Home

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 20, 2014
 Oklahoma (16-6) vs. Kansas State (13-7)
 Location:  Norman, Okla. - L. Dale Mitchell Park (3,180)
 Tickets:  Friday | Saturday | Sunday
 Radio:  KREF Sports Talk 1400 AM / 98.5 FM
 Chris Plank
TV:  FCSC (Friday)
 FSSW+/FCSP (Saturday)
 FSOK/FCSC (Sunday)
 Chad McKee & Jay Payton
 Live Stats:
 Game Info:  Game Notes (PDF)
 Pitching Match-Ups
 6:00 PM Friday:  RHP-Corey Copping (So., 2-0, 3.63)
 RHP-Levi MaVorhis (So., 3-1, 2.70)
 1:00 PM Saturday:  LHP-Adam Choplick (RSo., 2-1, 3.86)
 LHP-Jared Moore (Sr., 4-1, 3.68)
 1:00 PM Sunday:  RHP-Jake Elliott (Fr., 2-2, 2.87)

NORMAN, Okla. – An eight-game homestand played in 10 days comes to a close with the opening of Big 12 play against Kansas State. Oklahoma baseball hosts the Wildcats for a three-game set at L. Dale Mitchell Park beginning Friday at 6:00 pm.

No. 30 Oklahoma is 16-6 on the season after having a five-game win streak snapped on Wednesday. Junior Mac James leads the Sooners with a .442 batting average to go with 18 runs scored and 18 driven in. Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse has been swinging a hot bat of late; lifting his average to .310. He has scored 20 runs and totaled a team-high 15 extra-base hits. Redshirt-sophomore LHP Adam Choplick (2-1) has struck out a team-high 27 batters in 28 innings and owns a 3.86 earned run average. Freshman RHP Jake Elliott (2-2) owns a staff-low 2.87 ERA among starters in 31.1 innings of work.

Promotions: Friday will be "Social Media Night" at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Prizes will be given out to fans who are actively engaged with @OU_Baseball on twitter or instagram throughout the game. Following the action, will be the first "Friday Fireworks" display of the season. Saturday is "OU Faculty and Staff" day and Sunday is the long-awaited season-debut of "Sunday Sundaes".

1st - On the Air
Veteran OU broadcaster Chris Plank will handle the play-by-play duties on KREF Sports Talk 1400. Both games will also be televised by Sooner Sports TV with Chad McKee (p-b-p) and Jay Payton (color) on the call.

2nd - Midweek Recap
Oklahoma picked up a non-conference win over TCU on Tuesday, 9-5, and fell to Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday, 11-2. In the win over the Horned Frogs, the Sooners overcame a season-high five errors as they totaled 12 hits and broke a 3-3 tie with a four-run sixth inning. Neuse doubled twice, while sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley went 2-for-5 with two runs and a RBI. On Wednesday. Oklahoma was held to just five hits, but sophomore Anthony Hermelyn was able to extend his hit streak to nine games.

3rd - Scouting the Wildcats
Kansas State is 13-7 and winners of its last 12 games after a 1-7 start. The Wildcats, who are just 1-5 in road games, are led at the plate by shortstop Austin Fisher with a .387 batting average and 20 runs scored. Third baseman RJ Santigate is the second of seven starters with a batting average above .300. He is hitting .343 with 15 runs and seven steals. RHP Levi MaVorhis (3-1) is slated to start on Friday. He owns a team-leading 2.70 ERA and has held opponents to a .198 average, Saturday’s starter, LHP Jared Moore (4-1) holds a 3.68 ERA.

4th - Making Some Noise
Neuse was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week after batting .529 (9-for-17) in four games. He slugged 1.000 with a .600 on-base percentage. Neuse went 4-for-4 with two doubles against UTA at Globe Life Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday. He tripled twice on Saturday against Belmont and scored three times.

5th - Last Time vs. K-State
The Sooners advanced to the Big 12 Championship title game with a 7-6 win over the Wildcats on May 25 of last year. Ralph Garza Jr. earned the win in 1.1 innings of relief, while Kyle Hayes struck out the two batters he faced to earn the save. Garrett Carey went 2-for-5 with three RBI.

6th - Big 12 Openers
The Sooners are 7-9 in the first Big 12 match-up of the season after a 3-2, 11-inning win over TCU last season. OU has won three of its last four conference openers. Oklahoma won its first Big 12 game in the league opener against Kansas on March 15, 1997.

7th - What a Relief
Last week, the Sooner bullpen posted a 0.39 ERA in 23 innings of work. OU relievers combined for 24 strikeouts to just eight walks and held opponents to a .160 batting average. Garza made three appearances and recorded three runs, while giving up the only two runs, one unearned, by the unit. Senior RHP Kindle Ladd pitched eight-scoreless inning in two appearances.

8th - Double Switch
Senior Hector Lorenzana had started all 75 of his career games at second base before the Abilene Christian series. He has started each of the last nine at shortstop, while juniors Keach Ballard and Joshua Ake have taken over second. However, in double play situations with a runner on first and less than two outs, the two middle infielders have been trading positions.

9th - Shave for the Brave
On April 3, Oklahoma will join the fight against childhood cancer by hold a “Shave for the Brave” event following practice. Shave for the Brave works in conjunction with the Vs. Cancer Foundation to raise money for cancer research. The event will also serve as an opportunity for the Sooners in their countdown to 19 Ways.

Extras - TWI(OU)B History
In the middle of an eight-game trip to Hawaii, in 1977, Oklahoma picked up a 7-4 win over Hawaii on March 21, followed by a 4-3 loss the next day. The Sooners trip ended with a 6-5 win over Tokai, Japan on March 22.



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