The Sooners, coming off a 29-29 season in 2014, take the field against a Tigers squad that went 33-10 and reached the NCAA Tournament after claiming the SCAC Championship.
Oklahoma head coach Pete Hughes began his head coaching career at Trinity in 1997, where he compiled a 52-30 record in two seasons before moving on to Boston College. Hughes’ replacement at Trinity was his assistant coach Tim Scannell, who enters his 17th season at the helm of the program this year. Since taking over, Scannell is 518-208.
Following its second annual ALS Halloween Game, the Sooners extend their 19 Ways community outreach initiative as they host their first Breast Cancer Awareness Game. The driving force behind the effort to raise breast cancer awareness comes from Scanell’s wife Christa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer within the last year.
“We want to continue to have the community involved,” explained Hughes. “We’re going to play a scrimmage, for the first time around here in the fall, against Trinity. [Tim Scannell], the head coach at Trinity is one of my best friends. He was my assistant at Trinity a long time ago. He got the job when I left and stayed at Trinity. His wife [Christa] was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so that’s the origin behind that game.”
Oklahoma ranked second in the Big 12 in hitting last season with a collective .287 average and finished third in slugging at .401. From the 2014 lineup, the Sooners return seven starters, including Big 12 Rookie of the Year Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas). Neuse hit .304, slugged .521 and led OU with 47 RBI and seven home runs.
The Sooners feature a deep junior class led by center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) and catcher/first baseman Anthony Hermelyn(McKinney, Texas). Aikin finished 2014 strong to lift his average to .326, while leading OU with 47 runs scored. Hermelyn hit .289 and drove in 28 runs. Both spent the summer with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Hermelyn was named an All-Star along with teammate, junior left-handed pitcher, Jacob Evans (Broken Arrow, Okla.).
Fall ball wraps up for Oklahoma after its intra-squad fall world series, which will begin on Friday, November 14 and end Wednesday, November 19 with an off day on Sunday, November 16.
/// SoonerSports PR