Oklahoma baseball: Monday mound visit

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After a successful Oklahoma baseball home season-opening weekend and three wins in four games, the Sooners hit the road and headed to Sin City for the inaugural Las Vegas College Baseball Classic.

The Sooners took a 5-3 record into Vegas, including a win over then top-10 team Tennessee in the Shriners Children's College Showdown on the opening weekend of the season.

Unfortunately, OU came up empty-handed in Las Vegas. The Sooners fell to Pittsburgh in the tournament opener in the first meeting ever on the baseball diamond between OU and the Panthers. On Sunday, the Sooners led going into the ninth inning but couldn't hold on, losing to Ohio State 4-3 to fall to 5-5 on the season.

The Saturday evening game scheduled against California would was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Let's take a walk out to the mound and see how the Sooners pitching staff faired in Vegas.

Game 1: Friday, March 1

Pittsburgh 19, Oklahoma 9

Junior lefty Braden Davis was spectacular last Friday against Wright State, unfortunately the Sam Houston State transfer struggled mightily against the Pittsburgh. Davis lasted just two innings. He faced 12 batters and threw 62 pitches, allowing seven runs on five hits. He did record four strikeouts, but also issued four free passes.

The Sooners, forced into the bullpen early, used seven more pitchers against Pittsburgh, none of whom lasted more than an inning. Collectively, the seven relievers who followed Davis to the mound -- Dylan Crooks, Jett Lodes, Carter Carmichael, Reid Hensley, Carson Atwood, Brad Pruett and Grant Stevens -- gave up 12 additional runs (nine earned), 11 hits, six strikeouts and eight bases on ball.

For the game, the Sooners' pitching staff totaled 16 earned runs on 16 hits, walked 12 and recorded 10 outs by strike out. All in all, a very poor performance with Davis taking the loss, his first of the season.

Game 2: Sunday, March 3

Ohio State 4, Oklahoma 3

Right-handed starter Brendan Girton took the mound Sunday for the Sooners against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Texas Tech transfer lasted just two innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out three and walking three pm 47 pitches. He also hit a batter in his two innings of work.

Fortunately, the Sooners didn't have to go as deep into the bullpen on Sunday. Senior southpaw James Hitt entered the game in the third inning. He worked 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, striking out four and walking one. Sophomore right-hander Kyson Witherspoon worked the final 3.1 innings and gave up the two runs in the ninth inning that erased a 3-2 Oklahoma lead and proved to be the winning margin for the Buckeyes.

Witherspoon took the loss for the Sooners. Kyson's brother, Malachi, came in to record the final out of ninth, striking out the one batter he faced on seven pitches.

It was not the best of pitching performances by the Oklahoma staff, but it was far better than in Friday's game with Pittsburgh. Against the Buckeyes, the Sooners gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits, posted a dozen strikeouts and walked five.

After a rough weekend in Vegas, the Sooners return home for their first Big 12 matchup of the season, a three-game weekend series at L. Dale Mitchell Park against Central Florida (UCF).

Boomer Sooner!