College Baseball Weekend: Oklahoma At Baylor

The Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears are separated by just two games in the Big 12 baseball standings. That makes this weekend's series even bigger for both schools, with the Sooners having a chance to push the Bears further down in the standings and Baylor having the opportunity to take a run at first place.

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7 Total Updates since April 14, 2013
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Sooners Drop Series To Baylor, Remain In First

The good news is that Oklahoma still sits atop the Big 12 baseball standings. The bad news is that most likely won't be the case next weekend. The Sooners dropped two games against Baylor, in Waco, this weekend which cut their lead in the standings to two games over Kansas State and one game over Baylor. The problem is, OU won't be involved in conference play next weekend (stepping out to play New Orleans) while the Wildcats visit Oklahoma State and Baylor hosts TCU. That means that one or both schools will pass the Sooners up next weekend.

Big 12

Pct

Streak

Overall

Pct

Oklahoma

8-4

.667

L1

28-8

.778

Kansas State

6-3

.667

W3

26-11

.703

Baylor

7-4

.636

W1

19-17

.528

Kansas

7-5

.583

W1

22-13

.629

Oklahoma State

5-6

.455

L1

24-10

.706

West Virginia

4-5

.444

L2

20-17

.541

TCU

5-7

.417

W1

16-20

.444

Texas

4-8

.333

L1

19-15

.559

Texas Tech

4-8

.333

L3

17-19

.472

Oklahoma scored nine runs through the first four innings to build a 9-4 lead over the Bears and appeared to be on their way to fourth consecutive series win over a conference opponent. However it wouldn't be in the cards are Baylor would mount a furious eight-run rally, capped by a grand slam home run, in the seventh and eighth innings.

A Sunday, "pitcher by committee" approach that has worked for Oklahoma through much of the season absolutely failed them in the series finale. Starter Adam Choplick didn't make it through the first inning, giving up four runs, before being replaced. Ralph Garza Jr. took the mound and got the Sooners out of the first, he then pitched solid through the next four innings but was replaced by Billy Waltrip in the sixth. Waltrip then gave up four runs in the seventh before yielding the mound to Jacob Evans.

Hanging on to a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Evans loaded the bases before offering a 3-1 pitch to Baylor's Cal Towey that left the yard over the right field wall to complete the rally for the Bears.

Sunday's Big 12 Baseball Scores

Iowa

3

Kansas State

5

Iowa City, Iowa

TCU

3

Oklahoma State

2

Fort Worth, Texas

Kansas

4

Texas

3

Lawrence, Kan.

Liberty

1

West Virginia

2

Lynchburg, Va.

Baylor

12

Oklahoma

10

Waco, Texas

Texas Tech

5

Lubbock Christian

6

Lubbock, Texas

Not only did the series loss jeopardize Oklahoma's lead in the conference standings it also proved the point that, beyond Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton, the pitching is still a work in progress. It could have just been a bad afternoon for Sooner hurlers or it could be an indication of something deeper. Choplick hasn't looked the same since an injury that scratched his start against Kansas and it may be time to look for a replacement until he's healthy enough to return to form. Something to keep and eye on is the mid-week double-header against Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday. The starting pitchers in those two games could give us an indication as to whether there will be any changes to the starting rotation next weekend.

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Sooners vs. Bears - The Rubber Match

Game 3 Sunday, April 14, 1 p.m. CT

TV Fox College Sports Atlantic

Thanks to yesterday's win, Oklahoma will survive the weekend with the best record in the Big 12. However, that's not good enough as we want the series as well. Adam Choplick takes the mound this afternoon to try and keep the Sooners perfect in Big 12 conference series'. The game will also be broadcast on KREF AM 1400

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Sooners Rally To Even Series

For a while on Saturday afternoon it appeared as if Oklahoma's game against Baylor was going to follow the same path as the Friday evening game did. Baylor took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Brett Doe singled to left and scored Jake Miller. The Sooners would go down in order in the second, fourth and fifth innings and would only get to four batters in the third and sixth. By all accounts Baylor was on their way to another narrow victory via a pitcher's duel. Then the seventh inning happened.

Saturday's Big 12 Baseball Scores

Iowa

4

Kansas State

11

Iowa City, Iowa

Kansas

1

Texas

2

Lawrence, Kan.

Liberty

9

West Virginia

2

Lynchburg, Va.

Baylor

1

Oklahoma

3

Waco, Texas

TCU

1

Oklahoma State

4

Fort Worth, Texas

Matt Oberste broke a four-game hitting slump to lead Oklahoma off with a double. Kolby Carpenter then moved him to third on a sacrifice but before Hector Lorenzana brought him home with a single to left field. That would mark the end of Baylor's starting pitcher, Max Garner, who had put together six solid innings of pitching by holding Oklahoma scoreless. However, unlike Friday night, a pitching change would be the answer for the Bears.

A fielding error by Baylor shortstop Jake Miller, off the bat of Garrett Carey, allowed Lorenzana to score and gave Oklahoma its first lead of the weekend. Carey would end up scoring in the top of the ninth, off a Craig Aikin single, to give OU an insurance run but they really wouldn't need it, ultimately prevailing 3-1.

Sooner Starter Dillon Overton picked up where Jonathan Gray left off on Friday night. He was dominant from the mound, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run off six hits through eight innings of work, lowering his ERA to 2.20 for the season. Jacob Evans earned his seventh save of the year by pitching the ninth. He faced four batters, striking out one and allowing one hit. The save ties him with Texas' Corey Knebel for the most in the Big 12. Overton's win was his seventh of the season which is tops in the Big 12. Gray and Overton also lead the conference in strikeouts with 81 and 59 respectively.

Most importantly Oklahoma's win on Saturday guarantees that they'll make it through the weekend with the best record in the Big 12. At 8-3 even a Sunday loss to Baylor (6-4) would have the a half game ahead of the Bears. Adam Choplick takes the mound for the Sooners on Sunday as they go for their fourth consecutive conference series win.

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Sooners vs. Baylor - Game 2 Thread

Game 2 Saturday, April 13, 3 p.m. CT

Backs are against the wall, with no room for error.

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OU Loss, Bad Pitching Change, Scores & Great Catch

For seven of the eight innings that he pitched on Friday night Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray was exceptional. The problem was, he got off to a rough start (by his standards) in the first and it ended up haunting the Sooners for eight innings. After getting Logan Brown to pop to start the bottom of the first, Gray gave up a single to Lawton Langford and then walked Nathan Orf in back-to-back at bats. It looked like he may have survive the inning when he struck out Cal Towey but then Grayson Porter would send a single into left field to score Langford.

Friday Night's Big 12 Baseball Scores

Iowa

6

Kansas State

1

Iowa City, Iowa

-

Kansas

7

Texas

6

Lawrence, Kan.

12 INN

Liberty

0

West Virginia

8

Lynchburg, Va.

-

TCU

2

Oklahoma State

0

Fort Worth, Texas

-

Baylor

2

Oklahoma

1

Waco, Texas

-

From that point on Gray entered into a complete different universe. After giving up a single to Steve DalPorto in the second, Gray retired sixteen consecutive Baylor batters before walking Jake Miller in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out 10 and gave up just four hits in a performance that could have earned him his fourth Pitcher of the Week award. However, that 1-0 lead, established in the first by the Bears hung over the Sooners like a 1,000 pound weight as Baylor's Dillon Newman was unrelenting from the mound. Aided by five strikeouts, he retired the Sooners in order in five of the nine innings, keeping OU off the board through eight innings.

Finally in the ninth Oklahoma got to Newman and was able to tie the game when Craig Aikin's single to right scored Hunter Haley. Max White then came to the plate and singled as well to give Oklahoma runners on first and second with just one out. Baylor went to the pen and brought in Crayton Bare who retired Matt Oberste and struck out Kolby Carpenter, leaving the Sooners in need of extra innings to complete the rally.

Extras would never happen though as Sunny Golloway made the decision to replace a red hot Gray with Jake Fisher to start the bottom of the ninth. Baylor's lead-off batter, Towey, sent the third offering from Fisher over the right field wall for a walk-off home run to end the game. You can't help but question Golloway's decision as Gray had been in control for seven solid innings and never showed signs of losing it.

The Announcers Should Learn To Properly Pronounce His Name After Matt Oberste Makes A Play Like This

The loss puts Oklahoma is an unfamiliar situation as they've lost the opening game of the series for just the first time this season. The Sooners will look to Dillon Overton on Saturday to tie the series and then will have to rely on a Sunday staff that's been shaky the last couple of weeks to win the series. That's the long road ahead for Oklahoma this weekend, as Baylor pulled to within one game of a first place tie, but this team has proven themselves over and again this season.

Game two is set for a 3:00 start on Saturday afternoon.

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Sooners vs. Bears - Game 1

Game 1 Friday, April 12, 6:30 p.m. CT

Tonight's game is televised on Fox Sports Southwest and broadcast on KREF 1400 AM.

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College Baseball Weekend: Oklahoma At Baylor

The Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears are separated by just two games in the Big 12 baseball standings. That makes this weekend's series even bigger for both schools, with the Sooners having a chance to push the Bears further down in the standings and Baylor having the opportunity to take a run at first place.

Continue
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