Oklahoma baseball: Monday mound visit


 The 18th-ranked Oklahoma baseball Sooners hosted the Texas Longhorns at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman over the weekend for the baseball edition of the Red River Showdown.

The Sooners entered the weekend with a 25-14 record (14-4 in conference play) and sitting comfortably three games on top of the Big 12 standings, as well as boasting four conference sweeps for the first time in program history.

Let's take a walk out to the mound to see how the Sooners pitching staff fared against the rival Longhorns.

Game 1: Friday, April 26

Sooners 9 Longhorns 4

Sam Houston transfer Braden Davis took the mound for the Crimson and Cream Friday evening against the Longhorns. The left-hander put together another strong outing, only surrendering just one run on seven hits, walking three and fanning nine through six complete innings on 101 pitches.

Carter Campbell, Carson Atwood, Jet Lodes and Malachi Witherspoon followed in relief to finish off the Longhorns, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out four and walking two. Combined, the three OU relievers out of the bullpen plus the starter Davis compiled a stat line of four runs on a dozen hits, 13 strikeouts

The Sooners pitching staff would allow four runs on 12 hits, walking five and striking out 13. It was the 21st time the OU staff had recorded double-digit strikeouts in 40 games this season. Davis earned his fifth win of the season to go with three losses and on Monday was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.

Game 2: Sunday, April 28 (first of a double header)

Texas 8, Oklahoma 6

Kyson Witherspoon took the hill for the Sooners in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Witherspoon worked 5.1 innings, giving up five runs on five hits, walking two and fanning six with a very high count of 110 pitches. He turned the pitching duties over to the Sooner bullpen with one out and a run in on a home run by Texas catcher Kimble Schuessler. Carter Campbell was the first of three OU relievers that were summoned in the sixth inning to snuff out the Longhorn rally.

Reid Hensley and Dylan Crooks also entered the game out of the Sooner bullpen in the sixth. By the time the final out was recorded by Crooks, the Longhorns had scored three times in the inning to take a 7-5 lead. In addition to giving up three runs on two hits, the four Oklahoma pitchers in the sixth yielded three walks and hit a batter

Jace Minor came on in the ninth for OU in relief of Crooks and recorded the final out in the top of the ninth.

The Sooners' pitching totals for the first game of the doubleheader were eight runs on seven hits, eight strikeouts and six walks and a hit batter.

Kyson Witherspoon was charged with the loss for the Sooners, bringing his record to 4-3 on the season.

Game 3: Sunday, April 28. (game two of a doubleheader)

Longhorns 12, Sooners 10 (game called after seven i innings due to bad weather)

In a game that was rained out with one on and no one out and Texas batting in the top of the eighth, Grant Stevens got the start for Oklahoma in the second game of the Sunday afternoon doubleheader.

Stevens ran into trouble early, working only 2.2 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits, striking out one while issuing no free passes on 52 pitches. Brendan Girton, a right-handed transfer from Texas Tech, came on in relief of the starter Stevens with two down in the third inning and didn't fare much better. Girton surrendered five more runs on four hits and struck out two before giving way to Ryan Lambert with two runs in one out and one on base in the top of the sixth.

Lambert gave up one run on three hits and pitched into the seventh inning with Carson Atwood brought in to face two hitters and record the third out in the inning.

After seven innings, Texas led the Sooners 12-10, The Longhorns had a man on first with no one out in the top of the eighth when the game was halted because of the weather

Texas was declaired the winner after the remaining two innings were rained out.

The Sooners pitching totals for the second game of the Sunday twin bill were 12 runs on 14 hits, four strikeouts and one base on balls. Stevens took the loss for the Sooners in Game 2, bringing his record to 5-1 on the season.

Here's what Voice of the Sooners Toby Rowland had to say about this weekend's action on the diamond.

Talk with T-Row

Commentary by Voice of the Sooners Toby Rowland.

OU drops two of three to Texas this weekend in a frustrating way when Sunday’s finale was called in the eighth inning due to weather with Texas leading 12-10.

The score is an indicator of another frustration this weekend that once again came to the forefront: pitching. Despite another great start by Braden Davis on Friday night, his third consecutive victory on the mound. Oklahoma struggled to keep Texas in the yard in games two and three of the series.

The Longhorns lead the Big 12 in homers with 90. And they blasted 8 HRs in the series, six of those coming in the series finale. Game 3 starter Grant Stevens struggled again, not making it out of the third inning, which could lead to another evaluation of the Sunday starter role.

Big picture: The Sooners are still in 1st place in the Big 12, but their lead is down to one game. The offense continues to be dynamic. The pitching has to continue to improve. If they do, Oklahoma will be dangerous in the postseason.


The Sooners travel to Lubbock Texas this coming weekend, for a three-game series with the Red Raiders of Texas Tech.

Boomer Sooner!