Oklahoma baseball: Monday mound visit


The Oklahoma baseball team went out of the conference over the Easter weekend, hosting a three-game series at L. Dale Mitchell Park against the Lamar University Cardinals out of the Western Athletic Conference.

Unfortunately for the the Sooners, the Cardinals performed more like giants, taking all three game and leaving Norman with a series sweep. Oklahoma entered the Thursday-Friday series ranked No. 25 in the D1Baseball weekly poll, 15-9 overall and 7-2 in the Big 12. That didn't seem to matter to Lamar, which came in sporting a strong 19-5 record of its own.

Let's have a meeting at the mound to see what went wrong for the Sooners' pitching staff against the visiting Lamar Cardinals.

Game 1: Thursday, March 28

Lamar 12, Oklahoma 10

Right-handed starter Brendan Girton drew the assignment in game one of the series (played on Thursday because of Easter weekend). The left-hander was only able to make it through 2.2 innings, however, allowing six runs on four hits. Girton struck out five of the 13 batters he faced, but also walked three. He retired the side in order in the first inning and gave up a single and a walk in the second, but ran into major trouble in the third.

Girton allowed six Lamar hitters to reach base in the third on three hits, two walks and an error. All six scored and were charged to the Oklahoma red-shirt senior, and only one of the runs was earned. After Girton’s brief stent on the mound, the Sooner bullpen was put to work early with six other OU pitchers being summoned to the mound. Carter Campbell, Carson Atwood, James Hitt, Reid Hensley, Ryan Lambert and Dylan Crooks also saw action in the game, with Atwood going the longest, covering 3.1 innings.

The six relievers who followed Girton to the mound combined to give up six more runs on eight hits runs, striking out five and issuing five free passes via walks. Hitt was charged with the loss in relief, dropping his season record to 2-3.

Game 2: Friday, March 29

Lamar 13, Oklahoma 8

Southpaw Braden Davis was on the hill to start Game 2 in the series on Friday. Davis has been mostly solid all season, but he struggled mightily through four innings Friday evening. The Sam Houston State transfer allowed eight runs (all earned) on seven hits, walking five and recording only three strikeouts on 91 pitches.

Northwest Florida State College transfer Malachi Witherspoon and Jett Lodes followed Davis to the mound. The two relievers combined to give up four runs (all unearned) on three hits over the final five innings, walking four and striking out six.

Friday evening, the Sooners' pitching staff was charged with eight earned runs on 10 hits, nine walks and nine strikeouts. Far from a winning performance. Davis was charged with the loss, evening his season record a 2-2.

Game 3: Saturday, March 30

Lamar 6, Oklahoma 3

The series finale was easily the best pitching performance of the weekend by the Oklahoma staff, but it still ended in a loss. Kyson Witherspoon was on the hill to start the game on Saturday. Malachi's brother worked five solid innings, giving up just one earned on five hits, striking out seven and walking just one batter while throwing 91 pitches.

Dylan Crooks got the call in relief of Witherspoon in the sixth inning. He worked just the sixth and allowed one hit and no runs and was followed to the mound by Jace Miner, Brad Pruett and Ryan Lambert for short stints. Those three combined for one run on four hits over the final three innings.

Once again, the Sooner pitching staff The Sooners pitching staff was the victim of unearned runs, set up on Sunday by three fielding errors and a pair of walks. Four of Lamar's six runs were of the unearned variety. Witherspoon absorbed the loss, his second of the season to go along with a couple of wins.

While the OU pitching staff seemed somewhat inconsistent through all three games, the recurring theme throughout the weekend was unearned runs that came back to bite the Sooners.

Let's see what Voice of the Sooners, Toby Rowland, had to say about the Sooners' performance on the diamond this weekend.

Talk with T-Row.

Commentary by Voice of the Sooners, Toby Rowland

It was a disastrous weekend for OU baseball. And while much credit should be given to Lamar, Oklahoma was its own worst enemy. Way too many errors and way too many walks did them in on a weekend where the wind was blowing out with ferocity.

Jett Lodes’ work out of the bullpen on Friday night was the bright spot, going 4.1 scoreless innings in relief and only allowing one hit. Kyson Witherspoon’s move into the starting rotation was positive as well. Of the five runs allowed in his five innings, only one was earned.

It’ll have to be much better this week as the Sooners now go on the road for four games, including a big weekend series in Stillwater.


Next weekend, the Sooners will travel to Stillwater for a three-game Bedlam series against Oklahoma State.

Boomer Sooner!