The Oklahoma Sooners made a surprise run in the Big 12 Championship to claim the tournament crown. That momentum was used to push through a regional hosted by the Virginia Tech Hokies eventually earning their way to a Super Regional berth. With all eyes on the prize of a spot in the College World Series, the Sooners were stopped short by an impressive LSU Tigers ballclub.
Now, with the 2013 season officially over for the Sooners, there are a few questions that are begging to be addressed. There is no doubt that small ball has taken over as dominant pitchers have set themselves apart from the field. All season long, Oklahoma relied on Jonathan Gray as well as Dillon Overton to carry them to victory. Add to it the fact that jake Fisher is a senior who just so happened to round out the weekend rotation of starters and we have a conundrum heading into next season.
On the flip side of things, the offense was literally hit or miss as the power bats of previous years have all but disappeared. Matt Oberste provided a steady stream of hits but in reality, baseball is an up and down sport. Every players and team has experienced a slump and that was no different for Oberste as well as the Sooners in general.
Heading in to 2014, here is a glaring issue. What will Oklahoma be capable of without Gray and Overton on the mound? In the bullpen, there is promise in guys like Ralph Garza Jr., Jacob Evans, and Adam Choplick but experience is lacking. We all know the talent is there but it is still hard to fill the shoes of the aforementioned pitchers who are headed to the MLB.
Needless to say, the building blocks are there. Sunny Golloway is bringing in another power hitter from Owasso in Austin O'Brien while relying on another youngster in Craig Aiken to contribute as well. This will be a very different team next season as they try to find their identity. Will it be found in a new and reformed offensive prowess or will the defense need to be relied on as the strength. Only time will tell...