Hughes hopes that goodwill will extend beyond this weekend.
“We have some loyal fans that show up at our place, but I’ll be honest with you, there’s a lot more room in those stands for some more people to see a high quality of baseball at the right place in a family environment,” he said. “Hopefully this will help bring numbers and popularity to our game.”
The Sooners are averaging about 915 fans in their first 17 home games. The biggest home crowd so far this season was 1,671 at the March 22 game against Kansas State.
Hughes said he had a strong respect for the job OSU coach Josh Holliday does on the field and in recruiting. And although Hughes didn’t know anything about the rivalry until June, he quickly immersed himself in Bedlam.
“You take a job, you automatically become part of that rivalry whether you know anything about it or not,” Hughes said. “As soon as you get entrenched in that job, it becomes part of who you are and in your job description. When I was at Boston College, automatically it was Notre Dame. When I took the job at Virginia Tech, I immediately had to have a disdain for the University of Virginia, which I didn’t the day before I took the job.
“That sort of holds true for Oklahoma-Oklahoma State.”