Baseball Opens Big 12 Championship Wednesday
|Wed. 4 p.m.||RHP-Cade Cavalli (5-2, 2.93)||LHP-Paul Dickens (4-2, 4.32)|
• Oklahoma opens 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.
• The Sooners tied for sixth place in the Big 12 standings and are the No. 7 seed for the Big 12 Championship while the Bears are the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
• Oklahoma and Baylor will play in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship for the second straight year.
• The Sooners lead the overall series against the Bears 46-41, but Baylor holds a 5-3 advantage in the Big 12 Championship.
• Oklahoma is No. 39 in the most recent NCAA RPI rankings through May 19 games. The Sooners have 18 wins in 34 games against opponents in the top 100 of the RPI rankings. OU is one of five Big 12 schools in the RPI top 50, joining Oklahoma State (8), Texas Tech (9), West Virginia (16) and Baylor (27). With Texas (59), Kansas (60), TCU (75) and Kansas State (84), every Big 12 school ranks in the top 85 of the RPI.
• The Sooners are 15-11 in road games. Only eight teams in the top 40 of the RPI have more road wins than Oklahoma’s 15 victories.
• Of Oklahoma’s final 32 regular season games, 29 came against opponents ranked in the top 100 of the RPI, including 12 against the RPI top 50. Only 12 of those contests were played at home while 18 were played on the road and two played at neutral sites.
• Oklahoma was victorious in six of eight series openers in Big 12 play this season, winning key games against its opponent’s top starting pitcher.
• The Sooners won at least two games in five of its seven road weekends this season, and swept an additional two-game midweek set at New Mexico.
ON THE AIR
• Oklahoma’s games in the 2019 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship will air on Sportstalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM and the Sooner Sports Network with Toby Rowland and Ross Hubbard on the call.
• The games leading up to the championship contest will be televised on FOX College Sports. Bill Doleman and Mickey Tettleton will call the action of Oklahoma’s side of the bracket. The championship game is set to be televised on FSN.
OU BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
• Oklahoma has won the Big 12 Championship twice: the inaugural tournament in 1997 and again in 2013.
• The Sooners hold a 38-37 record in 22 Big 12 Championships.
• OU is one of just two teams to qualify for all 23 championships in the league’s history (the other is Baylor).
ABOUT THE SOONERS
• OU is in its second year under the direction of head coach Skip Johnson. Johnson is 71-46 as OU head coach, and led the Sooners to an NCAA regional appearance in his first season.
• Oklahoma won its 2,600th game in program history on March 24. The Sooners are 2,612-1,518-12 (.632) all-time in their 119th season of competition.
• OU has allowed three or fewer runs in 28 of 54 games this season, and allowed one or zero runs 14 times.
• OU ranks 28th nationally in ERA (3.61), 12th in double plays (53), 10th in sacrifice bunts (44), 29th in sacrifice flies (30) and 18th in fielding percentage (.979). OU batters have drawn 281 walks, a total that ranks 28th nationally.
• OU ranks second in the Big 12 in ERA and fewest walks per nine innings (3.76), and third in opponent batting average (.243). The Sooners lead the conference in runners picked off (seven), paced by a league-high five runners picked off by Levi Prater.
• OU is batting .265 as a team and averaging 5.6 runs per game, with 94 doubles, 14 triples and 28 home runs. The Sooners allow opponents 4.0 runs per game and a .243 batting average.
• The Sooners have a 3.61 team ERA with 463 strikeouts to 201 walks in 481.1 innings.
• OU is 2-2 in extra-inning games this season and have won each of the last two contests that went past nine innings (April 28 at Kansas State and May 11 vs. Oklahoma State at Bricktown).
• Senior third baseman Brylie Ware is on a 10-game hitting streak after hitting .615 (8-for-13) with two home runs and six runs scored in the series at Texas last weekend. He led OU with a .299 batting average, four home runs, five doubles and 17 runs scored in Big 12 play.
• Ware needs just three hits to top the 200-hit plateau in his three-year OU career. He is the 41st Sooner to total 100 hits, 100 RBIs and 100 runs in his career.
• Sophomore Levi Prater was honored as part of the 2019 class of Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award winners by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A), honoring student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. He leads the team with 97 strikeouts and a .204 opponent batting average and is second with 79.2 innings pitched. He has pitched at least six innings in nine starts and has allowed one run or fewer seven times this season.
• Sophomore Cade Cavalli is a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. He was excellent in his first start since April 19 on Saturday night. He struck out five batters and allowed no hits and three walks in 3.0 scoreless innings before he reached his pitch limit for the outing. Cavalli, an All-America candidate and on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award, is 5-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 11 starts and 55.1 innings this season on the mound. At the plate he has compiled a .319 batting average with 11 extra base hits, 17 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 24 games.
• Sophomore outfielder Tanner Tredaway has reached base in 10 consecutive games. He has batted .294 and scored 15 runs, compiling a .407 OBP in Big 12 play, which are all second-best on the team in conference play. He has recorded a hit in 14 of 19 Big 12 starts and reached base in 17 of 21 Big 12 contests in which he has played.
• Junior catcher Brady Lindsly led OU during Big 12 play with 19 RBIs, 28 hits and 10 extra base hits. Overall, he leads the team with four triples and is second with five home runs and 10 doubles, compiling a team-high tying 19 extra base hits.
• Junior shortstop Brandon Zaragoza has reached base safely in 25 of his last 27 games. He has 13 multiple hit games and is second on the team with eight multiple RBI contests. He was on the midseason watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, given by the College Baseball Foundation to the nation’s top shortstop.
• Junior Jason Ruffcorn is listed on the Stopper of the Year midseason update by the NCBWA, and ranks 21st nationally and first in the Big 12 with 11 saves. He also ranks second in the league and ranks 30th nationally with 29 appearances.
ABOUT THE BEARS
• The Bears dropped both games at Oklahoma State last weekend after winning two or three against Kansas State and a game over UTA.
• Baylor is hitting .315 as a team, and averaging 7.2 runs and 3.5 extra base hits per game. Co-Big 12 Player of the Year Davis Wendzel leads the team with a .385 batting average and has totaled 39 RBIs, eight home runs and 17 doubles.
• The Bears have a 3.87 team ERA and 420 strikeouts against 222 walks in 428.0 innings pitched.
NINE SOONERS EARN ALL-BIG 12 RECOGNITION
• Junior relief pitcher Jason Ruffcorn and sophomore starter Levi Prater earned second-team honors.
• Ben Abram and Wyatt Olds were selected to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
• Juniors Brady Lindsly, Nathan Wiles and Brandon Zaragoza and sophomore Tyler Hardman received honorable mention recognition.
• The Bears won two of three games in Waco April 12-14. OU won the opener 7-5 before BU won 7-3 and 3-2 (12 inn.).
• The Sooners swept the regular season series last season in Norman (4-2, 5-4 and 6-1), but Baylor won twice in the Big 12 Tournament (4-0 and 10-3).
• The Sooners took two of three games in 2017 in Waco, winning 11-3 and 3-0 around a 7-0 BU win, but the Bears lead the overall series in Waco, 21-14.