Oklahoma baseball; Monday mound visit


Editor's note: This is part of a regular standing feature by staff contributor Cameron Black, who will be providing a weekly column during the 2024 Oklahoma baseball season recapping the Sooners' weekend activity on the diamond. The focus will be from the perspective of the pitching staff, hence the standing headline "Monday Mound Visit."

The Sooners returned to the friendly confines of L Dale Mitchell Park for their home opener this weekend, a four-game series against Wright State.

This is the first time in program history that Wright State and the Sooners have faced off against each other on the baseball diamond, and it was commemorated with 3 days of offensive fireworks.

Wright State travelled to Norman with a 1-2 season record, and the Sooners entered the weekend series with a 2-2 record.

By the time the four-game series wrapped up Sunday evening, the Sooners had improved to 5-3, while the visitors headed home to Fairborn, Ohio, with a record of 2-5.

Let's take a walk out to the mound and see how the Sooners pitching staff performed during this series.

Game 1: Friday, February 23

Oklahoma 20, Wright State 0

Junior left-hander Braden Davis received the start for the Sooners, taking the mound and not giving it up for six scoreless innings. Davis gave up no runs on three hits on 92 pitches. He did yield a free pass on a walk but struck out a career-high eight batters.

Senior righty Jett Lodes entered the game in the seventh inning in relief of Davis and worked the next two innings. He was near perfect allowing just one hit, striking out four and walking one on 32 pitches.

Myles Meyer, a junior transfer from American River College in California, worked the eighth inning, giving up one hit along with a strikeout and a walk. Freshman right-hander Brad Pruett closed out the game for Oklahoma, retiring the three batters he faces and striking out two of them.

Four Sooner pitchers combined for no runs on five hits and 15 strikeouts. The starter Davis picked up the win, his first of the season without a loss.

Thanks to a shutout performance by the Sooners pitching staff, and an offensive explosion, producing 20 runs on 21 hits, including a couple of home runs (solo shots by Anthony Mackenzie and Scott Mudler in the 7th) by the Sooner bats, the Sooners easily took game in the series.

Game 2 : Saturday, February 24 (game one of a doubleheader)

Oklahoma 14, Wright State 9

Right-handed starter Brendan Girton, a junior transfer from Texas Tech, drew the starting assignment in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Girton worked the first 3.2 innings. He allowed five runs (only one earned) on six hits, struck out two and walked two. He also was charged with a wild pitch and hit a batter.

Junior southpaw Jace Miner followed Girton to the mound. Miner worked the next two innings in relief. During his appearance, Minor gave up a couple of runs on two hits on 28 pitches.

Three more Sooners took the mound in relief in game one of the twin bill. Senior Carson Atwood came in to work two-thirds of an inning and recorded one out in the seventh before giving way to senior Grant Stevens , a redshirt-senior transfer from University of the Pacific. Atwood's line for the game was one run on no hits and a walk. Stevens worked 1.1 innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk. in relief would take the mound next, allowing one run on no hits, a walk and no strike outs through 14 pitches.

Malachi Witherspoon closed it out for the Sooners, working the final 1.1 innings. The right-handed reliever surrendering no runs, no hits and struck out two.

For the game, five Sooner pitchers made appearances, giving up nine runs on nine hits while striking out nine and walking four. Minor (1-1) picked up the win in relief.

Game 3: Saturday, February 24 (Game 2 of a doubleheader)

Oklahoma 10, Wright State 3

Kyson Witherspoon , brother of Malachi, was the starter for OU in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader. Both brothers transferred in the offseason from Northwest Florida State College. Kyson worked 5.0 innings and earned the win, his first of the season. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out three and walked three.

Junior Reid Hensley, who throws from the right side followed Witherspoon to the mound, working 1.1 innings, giving up a run on no hits and striking out two of the four batters he faced.

Redshirt senior Carter Campbell finished out the game for Oklahoma. Campell threw 54 pitches in 2.2 innings, working the 6h, 7th and 8thand allowing no runs and no hits, walking three and fanning four on 54 pitches.

The Sooners' pitching staff held the Wright State Raiders to three runs in Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader, giving up seven hits, striking out nine and walking six.

Game 4: Sunday, February 25

Wright State 12, Oklahoma 2

All good things must come to an end, and the Sooners dropped the series finale to the Raiders but still walked away from the weekend with the series win.

Senior lefty James Hitt take Sunday game starter. Hitt battled through just 2.1 innings, throwing 60 pitches and surrendering six runs on eight hits. He didn't walk anybody and did strike out three hitters before giving way to the bullpen with one down in the third inning.

Will Carston took over after Hitt's rough outing and worked two innings, allowing three runs on three hits and yielding three walks.

Four more OU pitchers saw action in the game. Carson Atwood, Jett Lodes, Dylan Crooks and Ryan Lambert worked the final 4.2 innings with Crooks working the longest stint (2.0 innings). The four relievers combined for a stat line of 4.2 innings pitched, three runs allowed on four hits. two strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter. The loss went to the starter Hitt (0-1).

On a day when the Sooners red-hot bats seemed to cool off, and the pitching staff struggled mightily, the final totals for Sunday's series finale were 12 runs on 15 hits (11 earned), walking four with only five strikeouts.

Talk With T-Row

Commentary from the radio voice of the Sooners, Toby Rowland

Braden Davis was sensational on Friday night for the Sooners, but other than him, it felt like a step backwards this weekend for OU pitching. Despite record-setting opening weekend crowds and winning three-out-of-four against a Wright State team that has been to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, Sooner pitching underwhelmed.

Brendan Girton and Jamie Hitt were both less effective than in their opening starts in Arlington. And Kyson Witherspoon in his first OU start looked less dominant as well. Sunday was one of those days where no matter who took the mound for Skip Johnson, the visitors found their offensive rhythm.

Eight games in 10 days to start the season is ambitious. The Sooners had to use a lot of pitching to get through that opening stretch. A few days rest now before heading out to Las Vegas may do them some good.”


This weekend the Sooners will travel to Las Vegas for the College Baseball Classic, where they will match up against Pittsburgh on Friday, California on Saturday and Ohio State on Sunday.

Boomer Sooner.