Oklahoma-Texas Baseball Showdown

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 09, 2014
 No. 26 Oklahoma (23-11, 4-2) vs. No. 7 Texas (26-8, 6-3)
 Location:  Norman, Okla. - L. Dale Mitchell Park (3,180)
 Tickets:  Friday | Saturday | Sunday
 Radio:  KREF Sports Talk 1400 AM / 98.5 FM
 Toby Rowland
 Chris Plank
TV:  FOX College Sports-Central (Friday)
 SoonerSports.tv (Saturday)
 ESPNU (Sunday)
 Live Stats:  SoonerSports.com
 Game Info:  Game Notes (PDF)
 Pitching Match-Ups
 6:00 PM Friday:  RHP-Corey Copping (So., 2-0, 3.06)
 RHP-Parker French (Jr., 4-2, 1.93)
 4:00 PM Saturday:  LHP-Adam Choplick (RSo., 3-1, 3.59)
 LHP-Dillon Peters (Jr., 4-2, 2.72)
 2:30 PM Sunday:  RHP-Jake Elliott (Fr., 2-3, 3.61)
 RHP-Nathan Thornhill (Sr., 5-0, 0.73)

NORMAN, Okla. – First place is on the line as Oklahoma’s eight-game homestand continues with a three-game series against No. 7 Texas at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Game one is scheduled for 6:00 pm Friday, April 11.

Oklahoma is 23-11 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12. The Sooner offense came to life over the weekend with a sweep of CSU Bakersfield, but fell to Oral Roberts on Tuesday, 2-0. Junior Mac James kept his average above .400 at .403 with 25 RBI and 23 runs. Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse has driven in a team-high 27 runs and is batting .314. Sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley is batting .352 with a league-leading 34 runs scored and 26 driven in. The OU pitching staff has a cumulative 3.05 earned run average and .240 batting average against; both ranking third in the Big 12. Sophomore RHP Ralph Garza Jr. is tied for second in the league with seven saves. He also leads the Sooners in wins at 4-0 with a 0.71 ERA.

Promotions: Friday marks the second fireworks night presented by Moore Norman Technology, followed by a toss under the lights. On Saturday, fans coming from the OU football spring game can purchase tickets for $4. The Sooner sophomore class will also be available for autographs following the game. Enter to win a free foursome of golf on Masters Sunday and enjoy some ice cream as the first 250 fans in attendance will be given a free sundae.

1st - On the Air
Veteran OU broadcasters Toby Rowland (play-by-play) and Chris Plank (sideline) will call all of the action on KREF Sports Talk 1400 AM and 98.5 FM this weekend. Friday night’s game will air on FCSC with Bruce Haertl (p-b-p) and Jay Payton (color) on the call, while Sunday’s game will air of ESPNU with OU alum Dari Nowkhah (p-b-p) and Mike Rooney bringing the action.

2nd - Midweek Recap
Oklahoma lost to intrastate rival Oral Roberts for the second time in three weeks on Tuesday night, 2-0. The Sooners outhit the Golden Eagles, 8-4, but left 10 runners on base. Sophomore LHP Jacob Evans struck out a career-high seven in 3.2 innings of relief for OU.

3rd - Scouting the Longhorns
No. 7 Texas is 26-8 overall and 6-3 in conference play. The Longhorns swept Baylor at home last weekend and had a five-game win streak snapped on Tuesday vs. Rice, 7-2. Texas’ weekend rotation owns a combined 1.80 ERA; led by RHP Nathan Thornhill (5-0) at 0.73. RHP Parker French (4-2) and LHP Dillon Peters (4-2) round out the rotation with ERAs of 1.93 and 2.72, respectively. Center fielder Mark Payton leads a Longhorn lineup that is hitting just .263 with a .361 average and 25 RBI.

4th - Putting the Ball in Play
The Sooners strike out at the second lowest rate in the Big 12 at 4.62 per game; behind Kansas at 4.52. Mac James has struck out just three times and ranks third in the nation in “Toughest to Strikeout” at 39 at-bats per strikeout.

5th - Not-So-Newcomer
Neuse claimed his second Big 12 Newcomer of the Week award on April 7. He shared the honor with K-State’s Tanner DeVinny. Neuse hit .389 (7-for-18) with nine RBI, including two three-run home runs. He slugged .833, stole two bases and pitched one scoreless inning. Neuse’s eight RBI in game two of the weekend marked the most RBI in a game for a Sooner since Chris Ebright had nine vs. Oklahoma City (3/28/87).

6th - All-Time vs. Texas
Oklahoma trails the all-time series to Texas, 125-44-2. Since becoming members of the Big 12 in 1997, the Longhorns hold a 33-12 advantage. From 2008-12, the Sooners won just twice in 16 tries before winning the series in Austin in 2013.

7th - Last Time They Met
The Sooners took their first Texas series since 1998 with wins of 2-1 and 4-2. Jonathan Gray set the tone on Friday night with 6.2 innings of one-run ball and was backed by an RBI hit from Anthony Hermelyn as well as a Matt Oberste sac-fly to get the win. Texas won on Saturday, 1-0, despite eight strong-innings from Dillon Overton. OU claimed the series on Friday, erasing a one-run lead in the eighth, to take its first series in Austin since 1997. Jack Mayfield and Max White each recorded a three-hit day, while Hector Lorenzana drove in a pair.

8th - Backup Plan
The Sooner bullpen is 15-2 with a 2.22 ERA and has recorded 148 strikeouts in 150.1 innings. Oklahoma’s bullpen has pitched a season-best 19 shutout innings since the seventh inning against Oklahoma State (4/1). For the season, OU relievers have tossed 112 shutout innings in the 140 complete innings pitched.

9th - In the Polls
Oklahoma entered 2014 ranked No. 28 in the NCBWA preseason poll. The Sooners also received 66 votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, landing three spots outside of the Top 25. OU finished 2013 ranked No. 17 by the coaches. The Sooners are currently ranked No. 28 by NCBWA, No. 26 by Collegiate Baseball News and sit two spots out of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll Top-25.

Extras - Up Next
Bedlam resumes on Tuesday, April 15 as the Sooners head to Stillwater to take on the Cowboys in a 6:30 pm non-conference tilt.



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