Sooners on the Road to Face Golden Gophers

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
April 19-21 | Minneapolis, Minn. | Siebert Field/Target Field
Oklahoma
oklahomaMinnesota
Minnesota
Pitching Matchup
First Pitch Oklahoma Minnesota
Fri. 6:30 p.m. RHP-Cade Cavalli (5-1, 2.61) RHP-Sam Thoresen (2-3, 7.86)
Sat. 2 p.m. RHP-Nathan Wiles (5-2, 3.97) RHP-Max Meyer (3-2, 1.97)
Sun. 11 a.m. LHP-Levi Prater (5-3, 2.13) RHP-Joshua Culliver (2-2, 5.40)

FIRST PITCH

• Oklahoma continues its 11-game road swing this weekend with a three-game non-conference series at Minnesota. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
• Saturday’s game will be played at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. The Friday and Sunday games will be played on campus at Siebert Field.
• This will be the second-ever meeting between Oklahoma and Minnesota in baseball. The teams met in the 1973 College World Series in a game the Golden Gophers won 1-0.
• This will be Oklahoma’s first-ever baseball games played in Minnesota.
• The games will be available on Big Ten Network Plus and the Sooner Sports Radio Network.
• This April non-conference series is taking place during Oklahoma’s Big 12 bye week as a result of the unbalanced schedule due to the odd number of baseball-playing schools in the Big 12.
• OU ranks 15th in the country with a 3.23 team ERA. The Sooners rank 14th in the country in double plays (34), 20th in triples (14), 19th in shutouts (4) and 11th in fielding percentage (.980). OU batters have drawn 203 walks, a total that ranks 16th nationally.
• Oklahoma is No. 39 in the most recent NCAA RPI rankings through April 14 games. The Sooners are 8-8 in road games and have seven wins in 16 games against opponents in the top 100 of the RPI rankings. OU is one of six Big 12 schools in the RPI top 50, joining Texas Tech (15), West Virginia (16), Oklahoma State (29), Texas (31) and Baylor (40). TCU (66) and Kansas State (86) both rank in the top 90 of the RPI.
• All 17 of Oklahoma’s remaining regular season games are against teams currently ranked in the top 100 of the NCAA RPI, including nine games against teams in the RPI top 50. Four of those contests will be played at home, two at neutral sites and 10 will be played on the road.

ON THE AIR

• The games will air on Sportstalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM and the Sooner Sports Network with Toby Rowland on the call.
• All three games are scheduled to be broadcast on the Big Ten Network Plus, which is available online at BTN2Go.com and via FloSports.tv.

ABOUT THE SOONERS

• OU is in its second year under the direction of head coach Skip Johnson. Johnson is 63-38 as OU head coach, and led the Sooners to an NCAA regional appearance last season.
• Oklahoma won its 2,600th game in program history on March 24. The Sooners are 2,604-1,510-12 (.633) all-time in their 119th season of competition.
• OU has allowed three or fewer runs in 22 of 38 games this season, and allowed one or zero runs 12 times.
• OU leads the Big 12 in ERA (3.23), fewest walks per nine innings (3.52) and double plays (34), and is tied for first in the league with a .980 fielding percentage. Offensively, OU is fourth in the conference in on base percentage (.384), first in triples (14) and second in doubles (72).
• OU is batting .271 as a team and averaging 5.9 runs per game, with 72 doubles, 14 triples and 18 home runs. The Sooners allow opponents 3.7 runs per game and a .238 batting average.
• The Sooners have a 3.23 team ERA with 324 strikeouts to 133 walks in 340.1 innings. The starting pitchers have a combined 2.78 ERA and have struck out 202 batters and allowed 184 hits in 210.1 innings.
• Junior shortstop Brandon Zaragoza has reached base in each of the last 11 games and has a hit in the last five. He had two hits in each game last Saturday and Sunday (batting .455 in the series), and is fourth on the team this season with 11 multiple hit games. He has hit .389 in the last five contests.
• Sophomore outfielder Jordan Vujovich ranks 16th nationally averaging 1.0 walk per game and ranks 23rd with 33 walks on the season. He has reached base in 26 of the 28 games in which he has started this season. He ranks third in the Big 12 with a .478 on-base percentage.
• Sophomore first baseman Tyler Hardman leads the Sooners with 31 RBIs, five home runs, 10 doubles and a .506 slugging percentage. He also has a team-high 17 multiple hit games and seven multiple RBI contests, and has reached base in 10 consecutive games.
• Senior third baseman Brylie Ware has led OU with seven RBIs and four runs scored in the last five games. He has hit safely in five straight contests, and has 13 multiple hit games and seven multiple RBI games this season.
• Junior Jason Ruffcorn leads Big 12 and ranks 14th nationally in saves (8). He also leads the league and ranks eighth nationally with 22 appearances.
• Freshman Wyatt Olds ranks eighth nationally and is tied with Ruffcorn to lead the Big 12 with 22 appearances. He has pitched 18 scoreless outings in his 22 appearances this season.
• Freshman Ben Abram is one of two pitchers in the Big 12 with six wins, which ranks 22nd in the nation (leaders have eight victories). Junior Nathan Wiles ranks 32nd in K/BB ratio (5.9). and 25th walks allowed per nine innings (1.27) while Abram is 60th (5.1) and 63rd (1.61) in the respective categories.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN GOPHERS

• Minnesota is in its 38th year under head coach John Anderson, who has led the Golden Gophers to a 1,288-860-3 record.
• Minnesota has won three national championships (1956, 1960, 1964) and hosted a regional in 2018, advancing to a Super Regional.
• UM is hitting .265 as a team, and averaging 5.2 runs and 2.9 extra base hits per game. Jordan Kozicky leads the team with seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 23 runs scored, and hits .276.
• The Golden Gophers have a 4.65 team ERA and 303 strikeouts against 153 walks in 296.0 innings.

SERIES HISTORY

• Oklahoma and Minnesota have played once, in the 1973 College World Series.
• The Golden Gophers won that game 1-0.
• The winning pitcher for Minnesota was Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who struck out 14 batters in a complete game, on his way to winning CWS MVP honors.

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