College Baseball Preview | West Virginia At Oklahoma

Rich DeCray - SBN

West Virginia (17-15, 2-6) at Oklahoma (24-14, 4-5)

Location:

Norman, Okla. - L. Dale Mitchell Park (3,180)

Radio:

KREF Sports Talk 1400 AM / 98.5 FM
Toby Rowland
Chris Plank

TV:

FOX College Sports-Central (Thur./Fri.)
FOX Sports Oklahoma/FCSC (Sat.)
Chad McKee (Thur./Sat.), Bruce Haertl (Fri.)
Jay Payton, Jessica Coody (Thur./Sat.)

Live Stats:

SoonerSports.com

Pitching Match-Ups

6:00 PM Thursday:

RHP-Corey Copping (So., 2-0, 3.00)
LHP-John Means (Jr., 4-1, 1.72)

6:00 PM Friday:

LHP-Adam Choplick (RSo., 3-2, 4.27)
LHP-Harrison Musgrave (RJr., 3-2, 1.73)

12:00 PM Saturday:

LHP-Jacob Evans (So., 3-2, 3.73)
RHP-Sean Carley (RJr., 5-1, 2.73)

Only three teams have lost more consecutive conference games than Oklahoma's current four-game slide, and one of them is the West Virginia Mountaineers who have dropped their last six. This weekend's series between OU and WVU could be just what is needed...for either of the two teams. Obviously something is going to give as both can't continue to ride their current conference losing streaks. While a series sweep would be nice, the reality is that just winning the series would be a huge boost for either squad.

The Mountaineers have the Big Twelve's sixth ranked team batting average (.274) and are led by Bobby Boyd's .353 average.One of three West Virginia batters with an average above .300, Boyd has had a team-high 136 at bats and has knocked in 12 RBI. Joining Boyd in the .300 club are Ryan McBroom (.352) and Billy Fleming (.349). McBroom is as dangerous as a player can be from the plate. He's tallied a team-high six home runs this season and is second in the Big Twelve in RBI with 36 on the year.

Facing the Mountaineers lineup is an Oklahoma pitching staff that was beaten up a bit last weekend by the Texas Longhorns and then pushed to their limit in Tuesday night's 18-inning win over Oklahoma State. The Sooners are third in the Big Twelve in team ERA (3.24) and have relied on their bullpen as the strength of the staff. Coach Hughes has shown no hesitation in making a call to the pen for a specific situation or to relieve a struggling starter.

Oklahoma's counterparts on the mound will be a West Virginia staff that has a 3.60 ERA (7th in the Big XII) and is led by junior lefty John Means. His 1.72 ERA is the fourth lowest in the conference and Saturday starter Harrison Musgrave is right behind him at 1.73. The struggle for the Mountaineers has been their bullpen. Six pitchers on their staff have an ERA of 5.40 or higher.

It will be imperative for Oklahoma to deep into their at bats to try and force the Mountaineers to the pen as quickly as possible. The Sooners feature a lineup that has been both explosive and stagnant at times. Mac James leads the team with a .372 batting average and is one of a trio of OU players batting above .300 for the year. Hunter Haley (.315) leads the team in home runs with five but freshman Sheldon Neuse (.306) is just behind with four long balls and has a team high 31 RBI on the season.

Because of the Easter holiday, the Sooners and Mountaineers will play their series Thursday through Saturday instead of the normal Friday through Sunday.

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