Oklahoma baseball: Sooners look to reverse course after last week's downturn


At this time just seven short days ago things were going great for the 2024 edition of Oklahoma baseball.

The offense was firing on all cylinders, pitching had been solid and steady and the Sooners were riding a 10-game stretch during which they had won eight games, including two Big 12 series sweeps that had put OU at the top of the conference standings.

At the beginning of last week, Oklahoma made its first appearance of the season and the first since 2022 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, checking in at No. 20, leapfrogging over 22 other teams to earn its place in the top-25 rankings.

Then came Tuesday and the rough waters of the rest of last week. The Sooners were shut out at home by 16th-ranked Dallas Baptist. It was the first time Oklahoma had bee shut out in a game since 2022.

On Friday, the midweek loss seemed just a minor blip as Sooner ace Braden Davis and Reid Hensley combined for a no-hitter in a 13-0 shutout win over West Virginia, OU's seventh consecutive Big 12 win. Because of the expectation in inclement weather on Sunday, the two teams played a doubleheader on Saturday. The Mountaineers won both ends of Saturday's doubleheader, and just like that, the Sooners ended the week with one win -- albeit a spectacular one -- in four games and a drop of six spots, to No. 26, in this week's USA Today Top 25 rankings.

Oklahoma (14-9, 7-2) hopes to reverse course and get back on a winning track this week beginning with a Tuesday night contest at home against Oral Roberts and the first of four games this week against nonconference opponents. The Sooners stay home at L. Dale Mitchell Park this weekend for a three-game series against Lamar University that begins on Thursday.

OU can't afford to take the Lamar Cardinals lightly. Lamar is 19-4 this season and at the beginning of the week was riding a 13-game win streak.

News & notes

Oklahoma's 7-2 start in Big 12 play is the best for a Sooner team since the 2018 team began the conference season 6-1.

The Sooner pitching staff has recorded double-digit strikeouts in 14 of Oklahoma's 23 games and has three games this season with 15 strikeouts.

Junior Easton Carmichael leads the team with a .402 batting average. Graduate transfer Michael Snyder, from the University of Washington, leads the Sooners with 33 RBI, five home runs and a .671 slugging percentage.

OU head coach Skip Johnson earned his 200th career win at Oklahoma defeated then No. 12-ranked TCU 7-3 on March 15.