Sooners and Demons set to square off in three-game weekend set at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
March 14, 2013
|No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners (14-4)
vs. Northwestern State Demons (9-10)
L. Dale Mitchell Park - Norman, Okla.
| Game 19
||Friday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX College Sports)
| Game 20
||Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX College Sports)
| Game 21
||Sunday, March 17, 1 p.m. CT
(TV: FOX Sports Southwest Plus/FOX College Sports)
|| KREF Sports Talk 1400 & the Sooner Sports Network
| Live Stats
| Game 19 | Game 20 | Game 21
The No. 17-ranked University of Oklahoma baseball team squares off with Northwestern State in a three-game weekend set at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Fans can purchase tickets online on SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU. Friday and Saturday's games will be televised live on FOX College Sports while Sunday's game will be carried on both FOX Sports Southwest Plus and FOX College Sports. All three contests will be live on the radio on both KREF 1400 AM and SoonerSports.com
The Sooners (14-4) opened up their 10-game homestand by sweeping their midweek series against New Mexico State. OU posted its second shutout in three games with an 8-0 victory on Tuesday, then posted a dramatic 3-2 walk-off win the following night.
Oklahoma began Week 5 of the 2013 season ranked No. 17 by USA Today, No. 19 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 20 by the NCBWA, No. 21 by Perfect Game and No. 23 by Baseball America.
OU topped Northwestern State in the only prior series between the two programs in 2005 in Norman. The Demons took the series opener, 13-10, in 12 innings but the Sooners bounced back by winning the final two contests by scores of 15-8 and 7-6.
Oklahoma hosts Oral Roberts next Tuesday and Wednesday before opening its 2013 Big 12 Conference slate against TCU next weekend.
OU'S PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
Friday: Jr. #22 RHP Jonathan Gray (Chandler, Okla.): 3-1, 2.03 ERA, 26.2 IP, 8 BB, 27 SO
Saturday: Jr. LHP #13 Dillon Overton (Weatherford, Okla.): 4-1, 3.30 ERA, 30.0 IP, 7 BB, 30 SO
Sunday: R-Fr. LHP #34 Adam Choplick (Denton, Texas): 2-0, 2.93 ERA, 15.1 IP, 4 BB, 13 SO
THE OPPOSITION'S PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
Friday: Jr. RHP #22 Robert Baker (Garland, Texas): 2-0, 2.52 ERA, 25.0 IP, 7 BB, 11 SO
Saturday: Sr. RHP #9 A.J. Funk (Dublin, Calif.): 0-2, 4.00 ERA, 18.0 IP, 7 BB, 11 SO
OBIE'S IN BEAST MODE
Junior infielder Matt Oberste is one of the hottest hitters in the country right now and rides a 21-game hitting streak dating back to the 2012 season into this weekend's series against Northwestern State, which is tied for the fourth-longest such streak in OU history with Kevin Burdick (1986) and Zach Lekse (2000).
Oberste, who began the campaign by capturing back-to-back Big 12 Conference Player of the Week honors, is batting a team-best .448 with a team-high 30 hits -- including a team-high six doubles, two triples and five home runs -- to go along with a team-high 25 RBI. He has posted a team-high nine multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games this season.
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 4-1 with a 3.30 and has fanned 30 against just seven walks over a team-high 30.0 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 is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA, striking out 27 against eight walks over 26.2 frames. 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 last Saturday in Los Angeles. Gray put together a masterful performance on the mound for OU, fanning a season-high eight over seven scoreless frames. The Sooners posted their first shutout since blanking Baylor, 1-0, in 10 innings on May 12, 2012.
Senior infielder Jack Mayfield has already provided some memorable moments at the plate through 18 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 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 .253 with 19 hits -- including four doubles and two homers -- to go along with 11 RBI and a team-high 19 runs scored.
WHITE'S (BETTER THAN) ALRIGHT
Senior outfielder/infielder Max White has made his presence felt for the Sooners, ranking second on the squad with a .299 batting average and 20 hits to go along with 11 RBI and 15 runs scored.
CAREY'S SCARY GOOD
While Oberste's 21-game hitting streak deservedly draws a lot of attention, senior infielder Garrett Carey has quietly hit safely in seven straight contests. He's batting .286 on the season with 18 hits -- including five doubles, a triple and two homers -- to go along with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored.
NEWCOMERS MAKING AN IMPACT AT THE PLATE...
Five new faces in the OU starting lineup have already made their marks in 2013.
Freshman infielder Kolbey Carpenter is hitting .288 with 17 hits -- including three doubles and two triples -- to go along with four RBI.
Junior infielder Hector Lorenzana is batting .286 with 20 hits -- including six doubles and a home run -- to along with six RBI.
Freshman outfielder Craig Aikin is batting .254 with 18 hits -- including a triple -- to go along with five RBI. He has reached base safely in 17 straight games.
Freshman outfielder Hunter Haley is batting .250 with 10 hits -- including a double, a triple and a homer -- to go along with five RBI.
Freshman catcher Anthony Hermelyn is batting .225 with nine hits -- including a double -- to go along with eight RBI. He has made 12 starts behind the dish for OU, and the Sooners are 10-2 in those games.
...AND ON THE MOUND
Newcomers making an impact can also be found on the mound in 2013.
Redshirt freshman Adam Choplick is 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work, including three starts.
Junior Billy Waltrip has fanned a team-high 30 over 20.1 innings.
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.
Freshman Jacob Evans has struck out 11 against no walks in 13.1 frames of relief duty, carrying a 1.35 ERA. He has not surrendered a hit or a run in each of his last three appearances. Evans earned the win on the mound for OU on Wednesday against New Mexico State, improving to 2-0. He fanned two over two perfect frames of work, including getting the Sooners out of a key bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth
Junior Kyle Hayes has fanned 12 over 12.2 innings of work. He made his first career start for Oklahoma on 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 comeback win over New Mexico on Feb. 24 in the third game of 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 on Tuesday against New Mexico State.