NORMAN — Oklahoma baseball coach Pete Hughes knows rivalry.
Boston-New York. Boston College-Notre Dame. Virginia Tech-Virginia.
Tuesday night, he gets his first taste of Bedlam when Hughes’ Sooners host Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
“I’ll be completely honest with you, I’d never heard of Bedlam before I got the job,” said Hughes, who replaced Sunny Golloway in the offseason. “I was in a foreign land compared to what we’re in now. Since Day 1, we’ve talked about Bedlam. I’ve certainly researched it. I’ve certainly been part of it in different sports that have come through our campus with football and both basketballs and wrestling.
“I think it’s just an awesome rivalry. I think it’s great for college athletics, I think it’s great for our school, so I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
The teams will play five times this season — one non-conference game on each campus and then a three-game series split between Oklahoma City and Tulsa in mid-May as part of Big 12 play.
The Sooners (20-9 overall, 4-2 Big 12) travel to Stillwater on April 15. The teams play May 15 at Bricktown Ballpark and May 16 and 17 at Tulsa’s ONEOK Field.
Before he left for Auburn, Golloway was instrumental in getting the series expanded in part to bolster his team’s RPI.
Hughes isn’t a big fan of playing the Cowboys (19-9, 3-3) five times, though he said Oklahoma’s RPI certainly won’t suffer by playing OSU an additional game.
“I don’t know that we’ll get a great benefit from it,” Hughes said. “I don’t know that we need to play them five times. I don’t like to play anyone five times, no one does.