I'm not for sure that I want to say that Oklahoma's baseball team is slumping but after losing two mid-week games this week the Sooners sure are hurting. The Kansas Jayhawks may be the perfect remedy for OU's suffering...but then again if Oklahoma can't get the bats going once again it could turn into a painful weekend both for the players and the fans.
The Sooners' team batting average has dropped to .270 which ties them with Oklahoma State for next to last in the Big XII. While the team may be plunging in batting average, Max White is surging. He now leads the team in total hits (56), RBIs (36) and batting average (.357). However, where OU once had five players hitting .300 or better at any given point in the season, White now leads a group of just three.
Oklahoma will try to get the bats going against a Kansas pitching staff that has a combined ERA of 4.32 to this point of the season. Frank Duncan takes the mound tonight in game one of the series. He has a 4-5 record on the season with a 3.17 ERA. On Saturday the Jayhawks will throw lefty Wes Benjamin against the Sooners. He's sporting a 4.28 ERA and a 2-5 record on the season. For the finale on Sunday OU will face Thomas Taylor on the mound. Talyor has a 4.08 ERA on the season with a 4-5 record. Honestly, there's nothing about the Kansas pitching staff that causes alarm but then again they could easily say the same thing about the Sooner offensive attack at the moment as well.
Kansas is dead last in the Big XII with a team batting average of .250 which is just a bit below Oklahoma. Tucker Tharp leads the way with a .285 batting average. Just behind him is Zac Elgie with a .275 batting average but he also leads the way in home runs (5) and RBIs (26).
The Sooners will look to Jordan John and Jonathan Gray on Friday and Saturday and then name a Sunday starter based on how much they use their bullpen. John is has a 2.54 ERA with a 7-4 record and has been Oklahoma's most reliable pitcher this season. Gray will be looking to improve his record 4-4 on Saturday and has an ERA of 4.72. If these two go strong and are backed up with some offense then they could put Oklahoma in a position where they'll be looking for a sweep on Sunday.
First pitch in the series is at 6:00 on Friday night.