Nine Sooners Earn All-Big 12 Recognition
NORMAN – The Oklahoma baseball squad was well-represented on the 2019 All-Big 12 teams, placing three players on the first or second teams and two more on the all-freshman team, the league office announced Tuesday.
Sophomore Cade Cavalli garnered first-team All-Big 12 honors as the utility player while junior Jason Ruffcorn and sophomore Levi Prater earned second-team pitcher honors. Pitchers Ben Abram and Wyatt Olds were named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. A total of nine Sooners received recognition, as four others earned honorable mention acclaim.
Cavalli, a native of Bixby, Okla., is 5-2 on the mound with a 2.93 ERA, including 3-0 in five Big 12 starts. OU’s primary Friday night starter this season, he has struck out 54 batters and allowed 18 earned runs in 55.1 innings across 11 starts. At the plate, he has batted .319 with five doubles, four home runs, two triples, 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 72 at bats. He is a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award.
Ruffcorn leads the Big 12 and ranks 21st nationally with 11 saves, and is second in the league with 29 appearances. The Cedar Park, Texas, native is 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 36.0 innings and has thrown 21 scoreless outings. His 11 saves rank fifth in OU single-seasons history.
Prater is 7-4 with a 2.71 ERA, the lowest ERA among Sooners starters. The Ada, Okla., product has pitched 79.2 innings, leads the team with 97 strikeouts and has allowed a .204 opponent batting average. Primarily OU’s Sunday starter, he has pitched at least six innings nine times, and has averaged at least one strikeout per inning in 10 starts. He was a Big 12 All-Freshman Team selection last year.
Abram, from Georgetown, Ontario, is 6-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 13 starts as the Sooners’ primary Tuesday starter, though he has also made four weekend starts including three in Big 12 play. He has tallied a team-low 16 walks in 63.2 innings. Olds leads the Big 12 and ranks 21st nationally with 30 pitching appearances. The McLoud, Okla., product has posted a 3.29 ERA in Big 12 play and has pitched 23 scoreless outings.
Juniors Brady Lindsly, Nathan Wiles and Brandon Zaragoza and sophomore Tyler Hardman earned honorable mention recognition. Wiles was a second-team selection in 2018 while Lindsly and Zaragoza were honorable mention selections last year.
Lindsly, a catcher from Keller, Texas, batted .289 in Big 12 play with a team-high 19 RBIs, along with 14 runs scored, five doubles, two triples and three home runs. Wiles, who is 8-3 overall, is tied for the Big 12 lead in wins and ranks third with 90.2 innings pitched. The Overland Park, Kan., native is second in the league with 54.0 innings in conference play.
Zaragoza, who hails from Moore, Okla., is second on the team with 38 runs scored and 27 walks, and has tallied eight doubles and 39 RBIs. The slick-fielding shortstop has committed just eight errors all season, including one in Big 12 play. Hardman, a first baseman from Corona, Calif., leads the Sooners with a .308 batting average, 42 RBIs, six home runs and 12 doubles and has scored 38 runs.
Oklahoma begins the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship on Wednesday against Baylor. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Oklahoma City’s Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.