Oklahoma baseball: Monday mound visit


This past week in the Philips 66 big 12 Championship, the top-seeded Oklahoma baseball team faced off against the Horned Frogs of TCU, the Jayhawks of Kansas twice and the in-state rival Oklahoma State Cowboys, who would end up handing the Sooners their one loss of the weekend.

Let's take our weekly stroll out to the mound to see how the Sooners pitching staff fared against the different bats of the Big 12 Conference, which placed six teams in the NCAA Tournament this week.

Game 1: Wednesday, May 22

Sooners 4, Horned Frogs 0

Southpaw Braden Davis took the mound on Wednesday for the Sooners in their second-round Big 12 Championship game against TCU. Davis, who has become the ace of the OU starting rotation, put together possibly his strongest performance as a Sooner, pitching a nine-inning complete game and surrendering no runs on only four hits. His pitching line featured nine strikeouts and no walks on 120 pitches.

The complete-game shutout was only the fifth in conference tournament history and the first since 2015. Davis joined former Sooner and now major leaguer Jon Gray as the only Oklahoma pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout in the Big 12 Championship. Davis faced the minimum three batters in five of the innings.

The win for the former Sam Houston State transfer was his eighth of the season with three losses and his sixth victory in a row as OU advance to the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 postseason tournament.

Game 2: Thursday, May 23

Sooners 7, Jayhawks 5

The Jayhawks received the Witherspoon sandwich on Thursday's quarterfinal matchup. Kyson Witherspoon took the hill for the Sooners against Kansas. Witherspoon worked four innings, allowing no runs on two hits, walking six with the same number of strikeouts. It took 107 pitches just to get through those four innings.`

Carter Campbell and Dylan Crooks followed Kyson to the mound in relief and made up the middle of the Witherspoon sandwich. Campbell and Crooks worked four innings, allowing no runs on only two hits, walking one and striking out two.

Malachi Witherspoon came on in the ninth to finish off the Jayhawks, retiring the side in order to secure the 7-5 win.

The Sooners' combined pitching numbers against the Jayhawks read: no runs on four hits, eight strikeouts but also seven walks issued.

The win went to Campbell, the first Sooners out of the bullpen in relief of Kyson Witherspoon. It was Campbell's fourth win of the season without a loss, and Kyson's brother, Malachi, earned the save.

Game 3: Friday, May 24

Sooners 8, Jayhawks 6

Brendan Girton took the bump for the Sooners for the conference tournament semifinal rematch against the Jayhawks. Girton’s outing was short-lived. however, for he allowed all six of the Jayhawks' runs in just one inning of work. The red-shirt junior right-hander gave up five hits and recorded two strikeouts and two walks on 38 pitches. .

Grant Stevens, Carson Atwood, James Hitt, Jett Lodes and Ryan Lambert emerged from the bullpen, combining for no runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out 11. Stevens performed yeoman's work in relief, going 5.1 innings, giving up seven hits and striking out six with no walks. Combined, the six Oklahoma hurlers in the gams struck out as many hitters (13) as hits allowed.

Lambert (4-0) recorded the final two outs in the top of the ninth and was awarded the win as the Sooners broke up a 6-6 tie with a walk-off two-run home run by Jackson Nicklaus in the bottom of the ninth to escape the Jayhawk upset bid.

Game 4: Saturday, May 25

Oklahoma State 9, Oklahoma 3

Senior left-hander Carter Campbell got the start in the Big 12 Campionship final on Saturday against No. 2-seeded Oklahoma State. Campbell worked the first 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits, He fanned five and walked one on 70 pitches.

Dylan Crooks, Will Carston, James Hitt, Jason Bollman and Ryan Lambert followed Campbell, to the mound in an effort to slow down the Cowboy offense. The quintet of relievers allowied six runs on seven hits, walked three and recorded just one strikeout.

Campbell took the loss for the Sooners, dropping his record to 4-1 on the season.

Talk with T-Row

Commentary by Voice of the Sooners, Toby Rowland

The Jackson Nicklaus walk-off home run to beat Kansas in the semifinals was the unquestioned highlight of Oklahoma's run in its final Big 12 Tournament. But some solid pitching performances should not be ignored, and could carry significant performance going into the NCAAs.

Braden Davis was once again sensational in a complete game shutout of TCU in the opener. Kyson Witherspoon was solid in a Game 2 victory over Kansas despite the defense falling apart around him. And, the Sooners got a tremendous relief outing from Grant Stevens in their comeback win over Kansas in the semifinals, earning him a spot on the All-Tourney Team. Carter Campbell was also very good in his first start of the season against OSU in the championship game.


The Sooners will play host to Oral Roberts next weekend in the OU's opening game of the Norman Regional. UConn and Duke are also participating in the double-elimination regional format.

Boomer Sooner!