No. 16 Baseball Battles Oral Roberts

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners (17-4)
vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (5-13)
L. Dale Mitchell Park - Norman, Okla.
 Game 17  Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX Sports Southwest Plus/FOX College Sports)
 Game 18  Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX College Sports)
 Radio  KREF Sports Talk 1400 & the Sooner Sports Network
 Live Stats
 Game 22Game 23

The 10-game homestand rolls on for the No. 16-ranked University of Oklahoma baseball team with a pair of midweek games against Oral Roberts Tuesday and Wednesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Both contests are slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT. Fans can purchase tickets online on or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU. Tuesday's game will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus and FOX College Sports while Wednesday's contest will be carried on FOX College Sports.

The Sooners (17-4) are riding a five-game winning streak after sweeping Northwestern State last weekend. Junior right-handed starting pitcher Jonathan Gray -- the two-time reigning Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week -- fanned a career-high 12 in a complete-game effort to push OU to a 1-0 victory Friday. Four players posted multi-hit efforts to propel the Sooners to a 7-2 win Saturday. Redshirt freshman southpaw starting pitcher Adam Choplick fanned a career-high eight, and junior infielder Matt Oberste matched his career best by going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and extending his hitting streak to 24 straight games dating back to the 2012 season as Oklahoma sealed the sweep Sunday.

Oklahoma begins Week 6 of the 2013 season ranked No. 16 by USA Today, No. 17 by Baseball America, No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the NCBWA and No. 21 by Perfect Game.

OU leads the all-time series over Oral Roberts, 34-29, including a sweep of the 2012 series with wins of 5-2 and 6-3. Oklahoma head coach Sunny Golloway served as the ORU skipper for eight seasons (1996-2003), posting a mark of 335-156 and leading the Golden Eagles to six consecutive regular season and tournament titles and advancing to six consecutive NCAA Regionals.

Oklahoma opens Big 12 play by hosting conference newcomer TCU in a three-game set at L. Dale Mitchell Park this weekend.

Junior infielder Matt Oberste is one of the hottest hitters in the country right now and rides a 24-game hitting streak dating back to the 2012 season into Week 6 of the `13 campaign, which ranks as the third-longest such streak in OU history. Marty Neff hit safely in 27 straight in 1991, and Derek Wathan piled up hits in 25 consecutive games between 1997-98.

Oberste, who began the campaign by capturing back-to-back Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors, leads the Big 12 with a .474 batting average, 37 hits, six home runs, 28 RBI, a slugging percentage of .859 and an on-base percentage of .543. He has tallied 11 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games in 2013. Oberste hit .706 with 12 hits - including a double, a triple and a home run - to go along with four RBI and six runs scored over five games last week. He also posted a slugging percentage of 1.059 and an on-base percentage of .762. Oberste matched his career best in Sunday's 8-3 victory over Northwestern State, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

OU sports a pair of 2013 preseason All-American aces in its weekend rotation in junior righty Jonathan Gray and junior southpaw Dillon Overton.

Overton is 5-1 with a 3.13 ERA and has fanned 35 against just eight walks over a team-high 37.1 innings. He was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after fanning seven over seven frames while surrendering just two hits to help power Oklahoma to a 10-4 victory over Hofstra on opening day.

Gray, the reigning two-time Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week, is 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA, striking out 39 (second in the conference) against eight walks over 35.2 frames (second in the conference). He was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after Oklahoma rode Gray's arm to a 4-0 victory at then-No. 12-ranked UCLA two weeks ago in Los Angeles. Gray put together a masterful performance on the mound for OU, fanning eight over seven scoreless frames. The Sooners posted their first shutout since blanking Baylor, 1-0, in 10 innings on May 12, 2012. He followed that effort up by fanning a career-high 12 in a complete-game effort to push OU to a 1-0 victory Friday over Northwestern State. Gray, who tossed his first complete-game shutout in the triumph over the Demons, has not allowed a run in 16 straight innings.

Senior infielder Jack Mayfield has already provided some memorable moments at the plate through 21 games for the Sooners in 2013.

Mayfield lifted a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to push Oklahoma to a 3-2 walk-off triumph over New Mexico State last Wednesday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. He crushed a three-run home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the eighth inning to push OU to its ninth straight win to open the 2013 season courtesy of a 10-8 come-from-behind victory over New Mexico on March 24 at the 2013 Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Field, the home of the Houston Astros' Double-A affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks. He was named MVP of the weekend classic for his efforts.

Mayfield, who has started every game this season for the Sooners, is batting .241 with 21 hits -- including five doubles and two homers -- to go along with 12 RBI and a team-high 21 runs scored.

Senior outfielder/infielder Max White has made his presence felt for the Sooners, posting a .278 batting average and 22 hits to go along with 12 RBI and 19 runs scored.

While Oberste's 24-game hitting streak deservedly draws a lot of attention, senior infielder Garrett Carey has quietly hit safely in nine straight contests. He's batting .300 on the season (tied for second on the team) with 21 hits -- including five doubles, a triple and three homers -- to go along with 13 RBI and 12 runs scored.

Freshman infielder Kolbey Carpenter is hitting .300 (tied for second on the team) with 21 hits -- including four doubles and two triples -- to go along with four RBI.

Junior infielder Hector Lorenzana is batting .291 with 23 hits (second on the team) -- including six doubles and a home run -- to along with eight RBI.

Newcomers making an impact can also be found on the mound in 2013.

Redshirt freshman Adam Choplick is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 22.0 innings of work, including four starts.

Freshman Jacob Evans has struck out 14 against one walk in 16.2 frames of relief duty, carrying a 1.08 ERA. He has not surrendered a run in each of his last seven appearances and has tallied a team-high three saves.

Freshman Corey Copping posted four strikeouts over seven frames in his first collegiate start against Hofstra on Feb. 17.

Redshirt sophomore Robert Tasin has earned two saves in seven appearances out of the bullpen.

Junior Kyle Hayes has fanned 12 over 12.2 innings of work. He made his first career start for Oklahoma last Wednesday against New Mexico State, fanning a career-high six over five innings of work.

Freshman Ralph Garza, Jr., earned his first collegiate victory on the mound, striking out two over the final 2.1 frames of OU's 10-8 win over New Mexico on Feb. 24 the 2013 Kleberg Bank College Classic. He tossed 4.1 relief innings and fanned a career-high five to earn the pitching victory and improve to 2-0 on the season last Tuesday against New Mexico State.




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