College baseball memories, now and then

Fortunately for baseball fans, college action is set to get underway. I can remember when I was at Georgia State calling games back in the early 1980s all those trips to Florida to play FSU (Jeff “I’mBetter” Ledbetter, where are you now?)

How about the time pitcher Robbie Waits was finally putting a number on the Seminoles? (FSU feasted on snowbirds in those days, racking up wins over teams that hadn’t been outside for a day… and doing it with remarkable arrogance.)  They were winning something like 4-1 in the fifth or sixth inning when, miraculously, the lights went out in the stadium. It took about a half hour for them to come back on, and once everybody got warmed up again, well… FSU rallied. It seemed like part of the plan, didn’t it? Regardless, GSU won quite a few games in those days. Some great players and memories.

Such is college baseball… I sure loved those days. I’ll be out at the ballpark in Norman keeping an eye on the Oklahoma Sooners this spring. You’ll find their preseason poll placement in the soonersports.com release below. Bring on the snowbirds.

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma baseball team enters the 2013 campaign ranked No. 14 in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Fabulous 40 Pre-Season Poll announced Thursday.

The Sooners begin 2013 as the Big 12 Conference’s top-ranked squad. TCU enters at No. 15 while Texas is ranked at No. 21. Oklahoma will also face No. 1 Arkansas, No. 5 UCLA, No. 33 New Mexico, No. 39 Dallas Baptist and No. 40 Pepperdine in non-conference action in 2013.

The ranking marks the fifth straight season that OU appeared in a preseason poll.

The Sooners are seeking to make another run at the NCAA Men’s College World Series in 2013 under head coach Sunny Golloway’s watch. Oklahoma posted a 42-25 mark last season and reached its third Super Regional in program history. OU is looking to make its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 36th overall appearance. The Sooners have reached the CWS on 10 previous occasions, winning national championships in 1951 and 1994.

Oklahoma’s pitching staff is anchored by a pair of junior aces in southpaw Dillon Overton, a 2012 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention pick, and right-hander Jonathan Gray. Senior outfielder Max White, an All-Region Second Team pick by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2012, leads the offensive attack alongside senior infielder Jack Mayfield, an All-Big 12 Tournament Team and NCAA Charlottesville All-Regional Team selection last season.

Oklahoma begins the season with a four-game set against Hofstra Feb. 15-17 at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Sooners will host 31 games in 2013, highlighted by a non-conference matchup against Oklahoma State (April 2) as Oklahoma welcomes the Cowboys to Norman for only the third time in the last 17 years for the first of four Bedlam Series battles in 2013. OU will also serve as the host for the Bedlam Series conference matchups against OSU, with game one set for May 10 in Tulsa at ONEOK Field and the final two games of the series slated for May 11 and 12 at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Big 12 Conference home series at L. Dale Mitchell Park feature TCU (March 22-24), Kansas (March 28-30) and Texas Tech (April 26-28) while other non-conference home games feature Arkansas Pine Bluff (Feb. 19-20), Pepperdine (March 1-3), New Mexico State (March 12-13), Northwestern State (March 15-17), Oral Roberts (March 19-20), Arkansas Little Rock (April 16), New Orleans (April 19-21) and Dallas Baptist (May 14).

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