OU welcomes South Florida, Western Illinois and Stephen F. Austin
SOONER CLASSIC PREVIEW
The No. 17 Sooners (7-1) have won two straight games and host this weekend's Sooner Classic in Norman against South Florida (Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m.), Western Illinois (Friday at 3 p.m.) and Stephen F. Austin (Sunday at 3 p.m.).
Oklahoma is ranked No. 17 this week by Collegiate Baseball and No. 22 by the NCBWA and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll.
South Florida returns 18 letterwinners from the 2009 club that was 34-25 overall and 18-9 (second) in the Big East. The Bulls (1-6) lone win of 2010 came last weekend against Illinois. | Starters: RHP Randy Fontanez (0-2, 4.72) and RHP Ray Delphey (1-1, 3.27)
Western Illinois was 21-33 last year and 13-11 in the Summit League (third) and returns 10 letterwinners from that team. The Leathernecks (2-1) are in action Wednesday night at Saint Louis. | Starter: TBA
Stephen F. Austin is off to a 5-2 start after finishing 23-32 last year and 14-18 (eighth) in the Southland Conference. Ten letterwinners return from that squad. | Starter: RHP Justin Braddock (2-0, 2.45)
The OU broadcast with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play can be heard free online at SoonerSports.com for every game this weekend. Sunday's broadcast can also be heard on the Sooners' flagship station, KREF 1400 AM.
Live stats are available on SoonerSports.com via the baseball schedule page.
South Florida -
OU leads 4-2
Last meeting: March 14, 2009 in Tampa; OU won 10-1
In Norman: First meeting
Western Illinois - OU leads 18-1
Last meeting: Feb. 22, 2009 in Norman; OU won 21-9
In Norman: OU leads 18-0
Stephen F. Austin - OU leads 6-0
Last meeting: May 14, 2007 in Norman;
OU won 10-6 In Norman: OU leads 6-0
Thursday: OU - Michael Rocha, RHP (1-0, 9.00) vs. USF - Randy Fontanez, RHP (0-2, 4.72)
Friday: OU - Zach Neal, RHP (0-0, 9.00) vs.
WIU - TBA
Saturday: OU - Bobby Shore, RHP (2-0, 1.29) vs. USF - Ray Delphey, RHP (1-1, 3.27)
Sunday: OU - TBA vs. SFA - Justin Braddock, RHP (2-0, 2.45)
PLAYER TO WATCH - GARRETT BUECHELE
The 2009 Big 12 Freshman of the Year is off to a hot start with multiple hit efforts in all but one of OU's eight games. Buechele has nine RBIs in the last four games and leads the Sooners in nearly every offensive category, including three homers after blasting a three-run shot on Tuesday against UTA. The seventh homer of his career gave OU a 3-1 lead en route to a 4-3 victory over the Mavericks.
2010 Season Stats: .500, 3 HR, 12 RBI
SOONER CLASSIC TICKETS & SCHEDULE | BUY ONLINE
Tickets purchased will be good for all games during the day. Gates will open 90 minutes prior to first pitch on Thursday and 60 minutes throughout the remainder of the tournament. A complete schedule is below.
Thursday, March 4
Oklahoma vs. South Florida - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, March 5
Stephen F. Austin vs. South Florida - 11:00 a.m.
Oklahoma vs. Western Illinois - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 6
Stephen F. Austin vs. Western Illinois - 11:00 a.m.
Oklahoma vs. South Florida - 3:00 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin vs. Western Illinois - 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 7
Western Illinois vs. South Florida - 11:00 a.m.
Oklahoma vs. Stephen F. Austin - 3:00 p.m.
The Sooners play two midweek games next week before traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas for the Whataburger Classic. On March 9, OU heads to Dallas Baptist for a 6:30 p.m. game before returning home to host Houston Baptist on March 10 at 3 p.m. The home game will be televised on the Sooner Sports Network (Cox Channel 7 in OKC and Channel 3 in Tulsa).
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners came from behind to top visiting UT-Arlington on Tuesday, 4-3. OU trailed 1-0 after the top of the third, but Garrett Buechele's three-run homer in the bottom half of the frame proved to be the difference. Freshman Ryan Gibson picked up his second straight win with a solid seven inning start.
Since 1962, OU is 45-4 in home openers and has won 29 straight, including a 5-0 mark under head coach Sunny Golloway. The last lost came in 1981 against Southeastern State L, 5-6). During OU's five openers under Golloway, the offense has outscored the opposition 43-11.
JUST FOR OPENERS - AFTER 8 GAMES
The Sooners' 7-1 start is the best under Sunny Golloway when looking at the first eight games of a season. The 2006 and 2009 clubs were 6-2. The last time OU started 7-1 was in 2004, Golloway's first year back to Norman as an assistant. That team was 8-1 before suffering its second loss.
Despite suffering its first loss on Feb. 27, OU won five straight games to begin 2010. The last time an OU team started a season 5-0 was in 2009 when the Sooners rattled off five straight wins to begin the campaign. In 1998, OU recorded its longest undefeated streak to start a season with a 12-0 mark.
In the first two weekends of the season, the Sooners traveled coast-to-coast with stops in San Diego, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla. The total mileage covered in those trips to and from Norman total is 5,158. The trek from Norman to San Diego in week one was a round trip of 2,750 miles, while the journey to Jacksonville covers 2,408 miles.
OU has scored first in four of the eight games this season with a 3-1 record in those contests. The opposition has tallied the game's first run on four occasions, but OU is 4-0 in those games.
THE BIG INNING
OU has hit through the batting order already three times this season, twice in game two of the SDSU series and once against Richmond. OU accomplished the feat on 23 occasions last year. That 2009 team also scored five or more runs in 22 different frames. In 2010, OU has scored five or more runs in three different frames, twice in game two of the SDSU series and vs. Valpo.
OGLE ON JOHNNY BENCH WATCH LIST
Sophomore catcher/DH Tyler Ogle was named to the Johnny Bench watch list for 2010 on March 2. Ogle caught in 10 games last year, including eight starts behind J.T. Wise (2009 winner). Wise became the first Sooner to collect the award in program history and just the second in Big 12 history.
TIME FOR A RALLY
The Sooners have come from behind to win three of the eight games this season. Of Sunny Golloway's 177 wins at OU, 89 (.503) have been in come-from-behind fashion, including 22 last year.
The Sooners have recorded 10 or more hits in six of the first eight games of the season. OU is averaging 11.75 hits per game despite losing five regular starters from last season's club. The Sooners are also averaging 8.5 runs per game with three games with 10 or more scores, including the 17 posted in game two of the San Diego State series, the most since exploding for 29 runs on March 22, 2009 at Kansas State. OU ranks second in the in hits (94), third in runs (68) and fourth in batting average (.333).
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Prior to the season, OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway discussed the fact that the 2010 team was the deepest he has tutored in 13 years as a DI head coach. During the opening weekend, Golloway used all 33 players that traveled to San Diego, including 15 newcomers. OU used 30 in week two at the Jacksonville Invitational. Only two players on the 2010 35-man roster have not seen action (Jordan John and Michael Whitney).
BUECHELE, ERBEN & HUBBARD NAMED CAPTAINS
Seniors Jeremy Erben and Ross Hubbard and sophomore Garrett Buechele were voted as the 2010 captains by their teammates back in October during the team's annual visit to Willow Springs Boys Ranch in Chandler, Okla. All three are first time captains.
Overall, Oklahoma will face 11 opponents, for a total of 27 games, that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, including four non-conference opponents in Arkansas, Jacksonville, San Diego State and TCU.
Five of the 11 NCAA participants from 2009 (Arkansas, Kansas State, San Diego State, TCU and Texas) recorded 40 or more wins a year ago, while Arkansas (College World Series), TCU (Super Regional) and Texas (College World Series) advanced deep into the tournament.
DUKE ON PRESEASON LISTS
Junior closer Ryan Duke was named a 2010 preseason All-American by the NCBWA and was also selected to the Stopper of the Year watch list. Duke was named a third team All-American in 2009 and is the first Sooner since David Purcey in 2003, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, to appear on a preseason AA list.
DUKE MOVING UP SAVES LIST
Ryan Duke recorded two saves on the opening weekend to move into sole possession of second place on OU's all-time saves list (below). Duke led the Big 12 in saves with 16 last year (ranked sixth in the nation), the second most in a single season by a Sooner (Jeff Bajenaru - 20, 2000). He currently leads the Big 12 lead in 2010 with four saves.
1. 28 - Jeff Bajenaru, 1999-00
2. 20 - Ryan Duke, 2008-present
SINGLE GAME TICKETS AVAILABLE MARCH 2
Single game tickets for all 2010 baseball and softball regular season home games go on sale Tuesday, March 2. To order tickets, click here or call (800) 456-GoOU.
Eight current Sooners have been drafted in their careers (third most in Big 12 this season), including four newcomers on the 2010 squad that were selected in 2009. (Danny Black, Ryan Gibson, Chad Kettler and Bobby Shore). Last season, OU led all Big 12 programs with nine players selected off the 2009 roster. Below is a look at the eight Sooners and when and where they were drafted:
Danny Black 2009 - New York Yankees - 42nd Rd.
Jason Chowning 2007 - New York Yankees - 43rd Rd.
Jeremy Erben 2006 - Cincinnati Reds - 41st Rd.
Ryan Gibson 2009 - Florida Marlins - 48th Rd.
Kaleb Herren 2008 - Milwaukee Brewers - 44th Rd.
Chad Kettler 2009 - Los Angeles Dodgers - 24th Rd.
J.R. Robinson 2008 - Toronto Blue Jays - 31st Rd.
Bobby Shore 2009 - Baltimore Orioles - 40th Rd.
Michael Whitney 2005 - Baltimore Orioles - 18th Rd.
BASEBALL ON KREF 1400 AM IN 2010 | RADIO SCHEDULE (PDF)
The 2010 season marks the first with KREF 1400 AM serving as the flagship station of Sooner baseball and the new partnership provides expanded coverage for OU fans to listen to 50-plus regular season games over the air. Additionally, 22 of the Big 12 games are set to be carried on the Sooners Sports' Network, enabling fans to listen to OU baseball on various stations across the state starting on April 1, nearly double the amount from previous seasons.
The entire 56-game regular season schedule will be broadcast live for free on SoonerSports.com.
SOONER SPORTS NETWORK TO TELEVISE 20 OU GAMES | TV SCHEDULE (PDF)
The University of Oklahoma will locally televise 20 home baseball games for the 2010 season. The broadcasts will air via the Sooner Sports Network on Cox Channel 7 in Oklahoma City and Cox Channel 3 in Tulsa. The games will be simulcast with the OU radio broadcast on the Sooner Sports Network with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play and DeWayne Vaughn providing the color analysis. The first game can be seen on Wednesday, March 10 against Houston Baptist at 3 p.m.
OU FOURTH IN BIG 12 COACHES' POLL | Big 12 Coaches' Poll | Feb. 16 Media Teleconference
The No. 22 Oklahoma baseball team was picked fourth in the 2010 Big 12 Coaches' preseason poll released on Feb. 16. The Sooners' projected finish is the highest under head coach Sunny Golloway and the best since a third-place vote in 2003.