Oklahoma's Jordan John moves from the bullpen to the starting rotation this weekend. Photo via cdn2-b.examiner.com
For the first time this season the Oklahoma Sooners will enter a baseball weekend as an unranked team. Deservedly so though after riding a five-game losing streak into this week that included a weekend sweep at the hands of unranked Texas. Now, after beating Air Force in both games of last Tuesday's double header to snap the losing streak, Oklahoma is heading to Lubbock to look for their first conference win.
Head Coach Sunny Galloway decided to make some major changes to the weekend pitching rotation beginning with inserting Jordan John into the rotation as the Friday pitcher. John has been Oklahoma's most reliable pitcher this season. Coming in as a middle reliever he has pitched 29.1 innings and has a team low 2.76 ERA and a 3-3 record. He has struck out 28 batters this season while only allowing 26 hits.
John will be squaring off against Duke von Schamann who has a 2.62 era and a 2-3 record on the season. If his name sounds vaguely familiar its because he is the son of legendary Oklahoma kicker Uwe von Schamann who is responsible for one of the greatest moments in Sooner football history.
Duke von Schamann leads the team in innings pitched with 34.1 under his belt. He too has struck out more batters (26) than he has given up hits (25).
Jonathan Gray is Oklahoma's Saturday starter once again. He has a 2-3 record and a 5.88 ERA but seems to have found his stride, so to speak, in recent weeks. His six starts this season are the most among the pitching rotation. He'll be faced against Tech's John Neely who is 2-1 and has a 3.29 ERA on the season. Neely has seven appearances this season but has only put in 13.2 innings of work. This will be his third start of the season.
No starter has been listed for Texas Tech for Sunday's final game but the Sooners are moving Dillon Overton from the Friday starter to the Sunday starter. Overton's 37.2 innings pitched are the most among the Sooner staff. He has earned a team best 3-0 record by striking out 34 batters and maintaining a 3.11 ERA.
Here's where I get a little worried in this series though. Led by Scott LeJeune the Red Raiders are tops in the Big XII in team batting average at .312 and the team that currently has the worst batting average in the conference just swept the Sooners in Norman last weekend. LeJeune is batting a ridiculous .388 on the season. Oklahoma is currently fifth in team batting average at .280.
The Red Raiders are third in the Big XII with a team ERA of 3.25 while the Sooners are eighth at 4.92.
First pitch in the series is slated for 6:30 pm (CST) tonight.