The Oklahoma Sooners knew coming into the 2012 season, they would have a revamped look. With a ton of stars looking toward the MLB Draft, fans began speculating what would need to be done to venture into the College World Series once again. The first thought was that pitching would carry this ball-club as OU looked to have a new ace on the bump with the departure of Michael Rocha and the emergence of Dillon Overton as a freshman. However, a majority of the season has past and fans quickly found out the bullpen was about as deep as a kiddie pool. Now the aforementioned ace has been on a slide.
At the end of his freshman season, Dillon Overton won fans over with his arsenal of pitches. While Overton showed much promise he also gave Oklahoma the hope to compete with the top teams in the nation heading into 2012. He was a large part of why the Sooners received a favorable top ten ranking preseason.
Now fast forward into the season and we see that Overton was on a tear. It was clear that a little bit of rust needed to be brushed off as he took the mound against Pepperdine as the Friday starter. Pepperdine earned two runs (and one unearned) off seven hits during Overton's 4.2 innings of work. The result was a no decision for Overton.
Where it really picked up for Overton was against West Virginia. This marked the first complete game of the season for Overton while he picked up his third win. In that game, Overton allowed only two runs, one of which went down as an earned run in a 9-2 final. About a month later, Overton would again go the distance against conference foe Texas Tech.
However, this is where the brilliance stops. In the final two series of Big XII play for the Sooners, Overton has been demoted to Sunday starter and has pitched a total of 4.2 innings spanning two games. In those 4.2 innings, there have been a total of 114 pitches thrown to 26 batters with five runs scored (four earned) on nine hits.
With pitching being what was holding this team together, Overton's sophomore slump came at the wrong time. Call it being overworked by Sunny Golloway (as he made a couple late game appearances) or wear and tear of the season but the fact of Overton's slippage is undeniable. As the Sooners have pulled themselves back in contention for an NCAA Regional bid, the Sooners need their pitchers to be at 100%.
The question still remains: What is wrong with Dillon Overton?