Three-game series begins Friday at 8 p.m. (CT)
Feb. 20, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. --The Sooners open the 2008 season at No. 1 UCLA (Baseball America) on Friday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. (CT) in Los Angeles, Calif., at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The game is the first of three against the Bruins. OU and UCLA are slated for a 5 p.m. start time on Saturday and will conclude the series on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The entire UCLA series will be carried by the Sooners' flagship station, KOKC 1520 AM, with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play. Pre-game coverage for OU baseball games begins 30 minutes prior to the first pitch. Live game audio can also be accessed on the internet through Oklahoma All-Access, SoonerSports.com's premium site. In addition, live stats for all games this season can be viewed on Soonersports.com.
The Bruins enter the 2008 season opener ranked No. 1 in the nation according to Baseball America's preseason poll (program best). UCLA finished 22nd in the same poll last year after dropping consecutive games to Cal State Fullerton in the Fullerton Super Regional. The Bruins return 23 letterwinners from a squad that was 33-28 overall in 2007 and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 14-10 mark.
UCLA is led by junior shortstop Brandon Crawford. The preseason Golden Spikes Award nominee hit .335 last season and connected for 55 RBIs and seven homers.
On the mound, sophomore LHP Gavin Brooks will make Friday's start. Brooks finished 2007 in strong fashion and ranked third on the team in strikeouts with 98.
OU and UCLA last met during the 2005 season on March 4 in the Kia Classic in Fullerton, Calif. OU won that meeting, the only regular season match-up between the two, 7-2, and trails the all-time series 4-3. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak to UCLA.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS
Game 1: Friday, Feb. 22
OU - Jeremy Erben | RHP | So.
5-5, 4.33 ERA, 89 Ks at Weatherford J.C.
UCLA - Gavin Brooks | LHP | So.
6-7, 4.47 ERA, 98 Ks in 110.2 IP
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 23
OU - Michael Rocha | RHP | Fr.
Making first collegiate start
UCLA - Tim Murphy | LHP | Jr.
5-4, 5.68 ERA, 96 Ks in 76 IP
Game 3: Sunday, Feb. 24
OU - Chase Anderson | RHP | So.
2.00 ERA, 115 Ks in 85 IP at North Central J.C.
UCLA - Charles Brewer | RHP | So.
0-1, 5.40 ERA, 6.2 IP
The Sooners will open the home portion of the 2008 slate against Arkansas Pine Bluff on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The game will mark $.50 hot dog day at L. Dale Mitchell Park at 3 p.m. The game is the first of two against the Golden Lions. OU and UAPB will also play Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.
OU IN SEASON OPENERS
Since 1962, the OU baseball program is 35-11 in season openers. From 1984 till 2003, the Sooners won 20 consecutive season openers. OU's 21-3 record since 1984 has been made possible by run support. The Sooners have outscored the opposition 244-110, scoring in double digits on 11 occasions while averaging more than 10 runs a game.
PORLIER TO MISS START
Due to some inflammation in his throwing shoulder, junior RHP Stephen Porlier will miss his scheduled start on opening day this week. Porlier could see time out of the Sooner bullpen against UCLA.
OU VERSUS NO. 1
The last time the Sooners faced a team ranked No. 1 in the country was in 2006. OU faced No. 1 Rice in the 2006 Houston Super Regional and lost the best of three series, 2-1. The Sooners also hosted the No. 1 Owls in the 2006 regular season and were victorious, 15-3, at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
BIG 12 PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
For the seventh consecutive year, Texas has been selected the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 Conference baseball regular season title in a vote of the league's head coaches. Oklahoma was picked to tie for seventh.
4. Texas A&M
5. Oklahoma State
7. Kansas State
10. Texas Tech
BAKER NAMED TO WALLACE WATCH LIST
Sophomore first baseman Aaron Baker was named to the 2008 Brooks Wallace Preseason Watch list as announced by the College Baseball Foundation. The award is given annually to the best player in Division I collegiate baseball.
In 2007, Baker was selected to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team by Collegiate Baseball. He became the sixth Sooner in program history to collect the accolade and the first since 2005.
When glancing at the 2008 preseason top 25 polls released by the coaches and Baseball America, OU will play against six teams that appear in those standings. That accounts for 17 games during the regular season.
In Addition, Rice is the lone 2007 College World Series participant on the 2008 schedule and one of seven teams the Sooners will face that won 40 or more games in 2007. The Sooners will face 10 opponents (24 total games) that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, including five Super Regional teams (UCLA, Rice, Wichita State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State).
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets are on sale and are available for purchase online or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU. The OU Athletics Ticket Office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located on the plaza level of the Asp Avenue parking garage.
The Sooners will host 29 games at L. Dale Mitchell Park this season with the home opener slated for Tuesday, Feb. 26 against Arkansas Pine Bluff at 3 p.m.
In addition to the Golden Lions, OU will also host North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Washington State, UT-Arlington, Dallas Baptist, TCU and Wichita State in non-conference play.
In Big 12 action, the Sooners will entertain Baylor (March 28-30), Texas (April 4-6), Missouri (April 18-20) and Kansas State (May 9-11). The Tigers (No. 6), Bears (No. 15) and Longhorns (No. 16) were all recently ranked in the top 20 by Baseball America.
Reserved season tickets are available for $130 and general admission season tickets are available for $90. Discounted general admission season tickets are available to OU faculty/staff and senior citizens for $80. Single game ticket prices are $10 for reserved seats and $7 for general admission. Youth and senior citizens single game general admission tickets are $5.00.