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Big XII Baseball Notes | Sooners Take Opening Series | Bears In First

Coach Pete Hughes and his Sooners took care of business, in their opening series of conference play, by hammering Kansas State for twenty-two runs and taking two of three games from the preseason Big XII favorites. Highlighting the weekend for Oklahoma were grand slam home runs, in back-to-back games, but Hunter Haley and Mac James.

"I think they understand my mindset in offensive baseball," Coach Hughes said on Saturday. "Any baseball player is going to enjoy that. They're not handcuffed in any way. When you can go out there and play free and not worry about making any mistakes or having bad swings, you tend to be a better offensive player. You play more relaxed and you swing more relaxed."

The Sooners now stand at 18-7 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. They are tied with Kansas for second place in the Big XII.

Big 12 Pct Streak Overall Pct Streak
Baylor 4-2 .667 L1 13-10 .565 L1
Oklahoma 2-1 .667 L1 18-7 .720 L1
Kansas 2-1 .667 W1 16-8 .667 L1
Texas Tech 3-3 .500 W2 19-7 .731 W2
Texas 1-2 .333 L1 19-6 .760 W4
Oklahoma State 1-2 .333 W1 16-8 .667 W1
Kansas State 1-2 .333 W1 14-9 .609 W1
TCU 1-2 .333 L2 13-10 .565 L2
West Virginia 0-0 .000 - 12-8 .600 L1

After taking two of three games from Oklahoma State over the weekend, the Baylor Bears have established themselves at the top of the conference standings. The Bears also own a 2-1 series victory over Texas tech as well.

After dropping their opening conference series to Baylor, the Red Raiders rebounded this weekend to take two of three games at TCU.

In non-conference games, West Virginia went 1-2 against North-Carolina Wilmington, Kansas went 2-1 against Dartmouth, and Texas swept Columbia.

Conference Leaders

* With Mac James batting a Big Twelve best .432 on the year, Oklahoma leads the conference in team batting at .305 on the season.

* Nathan Thornhill's 1.01 ERA is helping the Texas Longhorns to have the top pitching staff in the conference, with a team ERA of 1.91 on the year.

* A duo of Sooners lead the Big XII in hits (Mac James 38) and in runs scored (Hunter Haley 27) but Oklahoma State's Tanne Krietemeier leads the conference in home runs with 6 this year.

* Texas's Mark Payton leads the Big Twelve in on base percentage at .528 on the year while Oklahoma's Mac James has the highest slugging percentage in the conference at .648 on the year.

* The Sooners also have the top three players in the Big 12 in total bases - Mac James (57), Hunter Haley and Sheldon Neuse (56).

* Baylor's Lawton Langford's 22 walks are the most in the conference.

* TCU's Brandon Finnegan tops the Big XII with 65 fanned batters this season.

* Eight pitchers are currently tied for the most wins in the conference (4) with 14 tied at 3 wins each.