OU baseball: Sooners prepare for crowd noise at Box Stadium

LSU averaged 10,954 fans this season, leading the NCAA for the 18th consecutive year
BY WILLIAM WEATHERS, For The Oklahoman Published: June 6, 2013
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During the short time they had at home, Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway did his best to prepare his team for what it's store for a best-of-3 Super Regional at No. 4-ranked LSU.

That meant trying to simulate what's widely regarded as one of the toughest college baseball environments at Alex Box Stadium-Skip Bertman Field when the Sooners (43-19) face the Tigers (55-9) at 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN.

Part of that preparation included Golloway having crowd noise piped into practice during an inter-squad scrimmage in an effort to replicate the sound of what 10,000-plus fans will sound like for several hours.

“We borrowed the tape and we piped it in and it got loud,” Golloway said after Thursday's 90-minute workout at the stadium. “We missed a couple of pop ups and that's going to make the crowd get louder. Our guys didn't communicate. They couldn't hear each other. We tried to best prepare them for what's in front of them.”

LSU, which is 37-4 at home, extended its mark to 18 consecutive seasons as the nation's leader in home attendance, drawing an average of 10,954 this year.

“There's a lot of guys on the team like me, where if they crowd comes at me, I feed off of that and makes me more competitive,” Oklahoma starting pitcher Jonathan Gray said. “I'm ready for it.”

NO GRAY AREA

Golloway emphasized that there's nothing to hinder staff ace Gray (10-2, 1.59 ERA) from opposing LSU's All-American Aaron Nola (11-0, 1.82) in Friday's Super Regional opener.

ESPN first reported Monday that Gray failed a pre-Major League Baseball Draft drug test for the banned substance Adderall but hasn't been suspended by either the NCAA or the school.

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