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State squads face important Big 12 games this weekend

John Helsley Modified: April 4, 2008 at 7:14 am •  Published: April 4, 2008
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Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each enter big weekend series looking up at the .500 mark in conference play.

Yet, both believe things are looking up overall.

And, hey, for now, such optimism isn't unreasonable.

But perspective can shift suddenly, especially in the Big 12.

The Cowboys, 4-5 in league play, visit Missouri for three games starting today. The Tigers are ranked No. 4 nationally after a week ago sitting at No. 2 – the highest ranking in school history.

Mizzou features the Big 12's top two pitchers in Aaron Crow and Ian Berger, who are a combined 9-0 with just seven runs allowed (six earned) in 81 1/3 innings.

For OSU, ranked as high as 23rd in one poll, could this be a defining weekend?

"I think it's too early,” Cowboys coach Frank Anderson said.

Anderson's reasoning: This will be OSU's third Big 12 road series in four weeks, courtesy of the conference computer. The Pokes will play three of their next four league series at Reynolds Stadium, before Bedlam closes the regular season.

"The conference office didn't do us any favors at the start,” Anderson said. "If we kind of weather the storm and then get back home, I think we'll be fine.”

OSU's bats better get going again.

Overall, the Cowboys lead the league in batting average (.319), home runs (34) and slugging percentage (.521). In conference-only games, however, they're hitting just .233, scoring a league-low 20 runs in nine games.

"We're pretty happy with our pitching,” Anderson said. "We haven't been perfect, but we've competed pretty well on the mound. We've played pretty good defense.

"We just need to swing the bats a little better.

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Sunny Golloway's OU baseball team plays host to Texas this weekend. The Oklahoman archive

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