Photo via cdn2.newsok.biz
The Oklahoma Sooners will travel to Stillwater tonight for the first time since 2010 for a mid-week match-up against Oklahoma State that will not count against the Big XII standings. Its a format that both teams picked up last season when the Cowboys traveled to Norman for a mid-week game. While its a preview of sorts for the Bedlam Series in a little less than two weeks it isn't necessarily an indicator of how the series will shake out. Last season OU won the mid-week game 8-3 but dropped the conference series to OSU a couple of weeks later two games to one.
OSU returns 14 players from last year's team that went 35-25 overall and lost out in the Nashville Regional of the NCAA series. The Cowboys are 8th in the Big XII in team batting average at .268. Robbie Rea and Gabe Weidenaar lead OSU in batting with both players hitting .316. Rea leads the team both in home runs 5 and RBIs 29.
According to Sunny Galloway's post game interview on Sunday, Damien Magnifico will be taking the mound against OSU. His ERA currently stands at 3.03 which is the fourth best on the team. He's given up 26 hits and 14 runs during his 29.2 innings of work this season with 19 strikeouts and a 1-0 record.
Oklahoma is just a couple of spots ahead of OSU at 6th in the conference in team batting average at .275. Led by Max White's .351 average the Sooners have five players hitting .300 or better. Hunter Lockwood continues to lead the Big XII in home runs with nine but he's now tied with White for the team lead in RBIs at 34.
While there isn't a starter listed yet for the Cowboys we know that as a team they are second in the Big XII in ERA at 2.98. This is going to be a classic strength on strength match-up (Oklahoma's hitting vs. OSU pitching) and it could be a game where the Sooners have to be patient until they can work their way into the Cowboy bullpen. What you'd like to see though is Oklahoma jumping on OSU's pitching early.
While this game doesn't mean anything towards the Big XII standings the Sooners do have a couple of things on the line here. First of all, OU hasn't won a baseball game in Stillwater since 1992. Granted, the Bedlam Series being split between Tulsa and Oklahoma City plays into that some but when you haven't won in a rivals home stadium in twenty years you've got to be a bit juiced about playing. Secondly, Oklahoma is riding a season long eight-game winning streak. The certainly don't want to see that end at the hands of the Cowboys.
Tonight's game is set for a 6:30 start.