Series begins on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
No. 9 Oklahoma (22-3) has won 17 of its last 19 games and continues a five-game home stand with the start of a three-game series against No. 7 Texas on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ... The two will be meeting for the second straight season in a top 10 match-up. Then-No. 10 Texas swept the No. 9 Sooners in Austin last year (7-3, 6-2 and 8-5). The Longhorns (18-7, 4-2 Big 12) are third in the Big 12 standings after being picked No. 1 in each of the preseason top 25 polls and No. 1 in the Big 12 coaches' poll.
OU sits second in the Big 12 standings at 3-1 and is off to its best start under Sunny Golloway and best in program history since 1985. The Sooners are ranked as high as No. 9 (season high) this week by the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll and Collegiate Baseball.
Texas returns 19 letterwinners from the 2009 team that was 50-16-1 overall (17-9-1, first in Big 12) en route to a runner-up finish in the College World Series ... Texas lost on Tuesday against Oral Roberts but took two of three over the weekend at Texas Tech.
Friday - RHP Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 3.43) | Saturday - RHP Cole Green (5-0, 3.19) | Sunday - RHP Brandon Workman (4-1, 3.03)
The OU broadcast with Chuck Kelly calling the play-by-play and Damon Minor (Thursday) and DeWayne Vaughn (Friday and Saturday)on color can be heard on the Sooners Sports Network (KREF 1400 AM) and free online all week at SoonerSports.com.
The first two games will be simulcast live TV on the Sooner Sports Network on Cox Channel 3 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. A live webcast for the games can be found on OU All-Access. Saturday's game will mark OU's first nationally televised game as ESPNU brings the action live from Norman with Dan McLaughlin (play by play) and Morgan Ensberg (color) providing the commentary. ESPNU can be found on DirecTV (614), Dish Network (141) and AT&T U-Verse (605). Call your local cable provider for listings in your area.
Live stats are available on SoonerSports.com via the baseball schedule page.
The Sooners won the inaugural Big 12 series in 1997 (2-1) in Austin and followed that up with a three-game sweep in Norman. However, the Longhorns have won the last 11 conference series, including five straight games. Texas leads 30-12 since 1997, but 22 of those games have been decided by three runs or less (UT leads 17-5), including 10 one-run games and three postseason meetings. Other notes: The series has been decided in game three in 2002, 2004 and 2008 ... Texas is 10-3 in the series opener (won last 7) ... OU has won two of the last three series finales ... OU's last win: April 5, 2008.
PLAYER TO WATCH - ZACH NEAL
The junior hurler recorded the best outing by an OU starter in 2010 on Friday in the series opener at Nebraska. Neal struck out a career-high 11 batters across his longest outing of the season (seven innings) to propel OU to a 10-2 win over the Huskers in Lincoln. Neal did not walk a batter and surrendered just one run off four hits. He has lasted five innings or more in four of his six starts.
2010 Season Stats: 3-0, 5.34 ERA, 7 BB, 36 SO
No. 1 Zach Neal - RHP 3-0, 5.34, 30.1 IP, 7 BB, 36 SO
No. 2 Bobby Shore - RHP 4-0, 2.12, 29.2 IP, 8 BB, 29 SO
No. 3 J.R. Robinson - LHP 1-1, 5.09, 23.0 IP, 8 BB, 28 SO
Tickets are available for purchase online at SoonerSports.com or by calling 800-456-GoOU.
Baseball Ticket Info | Purchase Online | L. Dale Mitchell Park | Seating Chart | Views
Thursday - first 500 students will receive a crimson t-shirt | Friday - first 250 fans will receive an OU Fan Banner | Saturday - Military Appreciation Day: team will wear OU Camo hats during pre-game BP/Field ... Oklahoma National Guard will have inflatable games and a climbing wall (weather pending) ... Team will sign autographs after the game (weather pending) ...First 250 fans will receive an OU camo baseball keychain ... first 500 fans will receive an OU rally towel ... first 100 fans to show their military ID will receive a free popcorn/soda ... first 300 kids will receive an Easter Egg
Grand Slam Special: Aramark will be featuring BBQ "Bevo" sandwiches and Onion Burgers during the weekend series.
- OU ranks third in the Big 12 in ERA (3.37) and in batting average (.323). The Sooners lead the Big 12 with 36 home runs.
- The OU pitching staff ranks second in the Big 12 with 238 strikeouts and has 13 games with 10 or more Ks.
- For the second time under Sunny Golloway, the Sooners have won each of the first two Big 12 series to begin the year. In 2009, OU won the first four conference sets.
- The Sooners have homered in 16 of the last 18 contests with 26 in that span, including seven multiple-homer games.
- The OU bullpen is 10-0 with nine saves on the season with a 2.29 ERA and 124 Ks in 102.1 IP.
- OU has stolen at least one base in 13 of the last 17 games. The Sooners stole eight bases on March 13 vs. TAMUCC, the most in a game since OU had eight on Feb. 12, 2006 versus Western Illinois. Chris Ellison ranks third in the Big 12 with 11 swipes.
- Cameron Seitzer hit for the cycle in the Sooners' 26-3 win over UAPB. Seitzer had a homer and a triple in the second inning.
- Seitzer ranks in the Big 12's top 10 in seven offensive categories (avg.-.416, HR - 7, 2B-9, RBI-26, TB-64, OB%-.511 and SLG%-.831).
- Garrett Buechele (6) is tied for fourth in home runs and Seitzer (7) is right above him. Both have surpassed their 2009 totals.
- Ryan Duke is a perfect 8-for-8 in save situations this year and leads the nation in that category.
- Jeremy Erben leads the Big 12 with five wins and a 0.35 ERA. He leads the nation in ERA and has not allowed a run in the last nine outings, spanning 22 innings.
- Buechele (3B) and Caleb Bushyhead (SS) are the only Sooners to start every game.
- Bushyhead registered one hit in 22 games last season and already has 30 hits after 25 games in 2010. Bushyhead ranks second on OU with 10 multiple-hit games.
- Casey Johnson's 13-game hitting streak is the fourth longest active streak in the Big 12.
- Max White has four homers in his 10 starts.
- Oklahoma has started 18 different players in the lineup after Jack Mayfield made his first start vs. UCLA.
- Buechele, Erben, Ross Hubbard and Chris Ellison were named to the Whataburger Collegiate Classic all-tournament team.
OU will play its fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent with a trip to No. 12 TCU on Tuesday, April 6. Following the midweek contest, OU returns home to host Missouri in a three-game Big 12 series.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners swept visiting Arkansas Pine Bluff in a two-game midweek set and outscored the Lions, 42-4. OU won game won 26-3 on Tuesday and followed it up with a 16-1 win on Wednesday. OU hit six home runs in the series.
ERBEN ON PITCHER WATCH LIST
Jeremy Erben is one of seven hurlers from the Big 12 named to the Pitcher of the Year watch list on March 23 as presented by the College Baseball Foundation. This is the second year for the award and it will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2 as part of the College Baseball Awards Show. He leads the Big 12 in wins (5) and ERA (0.35) and was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for games played through March 7.
The 10-game winning streak from Feb. 28-March 13 marked the fifth time under OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway that the Sooners have won 10 or more consecutive games and the 26th in program history.
BEST START SINCE 1985
After 25 games, OU is off to its best start under head coach Sunny Golloway. The last time the Sooners started a season with a 22-3 record was in 1985. That team was 23-3 before suffering its fourth loss of the season.
OU has scored 91 of its 215 runs, or 42 percent, in the sixth inning and later. In addition, the Sooners have outscored the opposition, 39-9, in the eighth and ninth innings combined, which includes seven home runs.
OU has scored first in nine of the last 17 games and in 13 overall. OU has a 11-2 record in those contests. The opposition has tallied the game's first run in 12 games, but OU is 11-1 (Nebraska on March 28).
The Sooners have recorded one-run victories in six games this year. OU is 5-1 in those situations this year and the Sooners are 55-20-1 (.730) under head coach Sunny Golloway. The Sooners' skipper entered 2010 with the best winning percentage among Big 12 coaches over the last five years (.721).
THE BIG INNING
OU has hit through the batting order already 11 times this season, three times in game one of the UAPB series, twice in game two of the SDSU series, and once each against Richmond, Mississippi State, Texas A&M-CC, UMass (GM2), Nebraska (GM3) and UAPB (GM2). 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 10 different frames, including a season-high 10 runs in game one of the UAPB series (second inning). OU had three five-plus run innings in that UAPB game and also accomplished the feat twice in game two of the SDSU series and once versus Valparaiso, Western Illinois, Mississippi State, Baylor and Nebraska.
TIME FOR A RALLY
The Sooners have come from behind to win 11 of the 24 games this season. Of Sunny Golloway's 192 wins at OU, 97 (.505) have been in come-from-behind fashion, including 22 last year.
The Sooners have recorded 10 or more hits in 16 of the first 25 games of the season, including a season-high 19 vs. Mississippi State and UAPB (March 30). OU is averaging 11.12 hits per game despite losing five regular starters from last season's club. The Sooners are also averaging 8.6 runs per game with nine games with 10 or more scores, including the 26 posted in game one of the UAPB series, the most since exploding for 29 runs on March 22, 2009 at Kansas State.
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).
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 nation in 2010 with eight saves.
1. 28 - Jeff Bajenaru, 1999-00
2. 24 - Ryan Duke, 2008-present
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.