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2011 Baseball Preview: Pitchers

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Oklahoma returns two All-Conference caliber pitchers in seniors Bobby Shore and Michael Rocha as well as the best closer in the Big 12 in Ryan Duke. However, they'll need to look to some new faces to finish out both the weekend rotation.

Shore was one of the stars of the post season for the Sooners. His performance helped clinch Oklahoma's regional and super regional championships. For the season he went 10-5 with a 4.12 ERA over his 17 starts. He struck out a total of 77 batters during the season. Meanwhile Rocha posted an 8-2 record despite only drawing seven starts in 2010. He had a 3.53 ERA and fanned 55 batters. Ryan Duke recorded 12 saves in 2010. 

Oklahoma does have to replace Zach Neal in the rotation and will most likely look to JUCO transfer Burch Smith to fill the role. Smith was a JUCO All-American last year at Howard College where he was a two year starter. In 2010 he pitched a total of 90 innings, recording a 2.50 ERA and striking out 79 batters on his way to an 11-2 record.

While Smith is the favorite to complete the weekend rotation you can't overlook Ryan Gibson and freshman Daniel Overton. Both will probably serve as the mid-week starters but could also have an impact over the weekend's as well. 

The bullpen will consist of Duke and fellow righties Steven Bruce*, Cale Coshow*, Drew Krittenbrink*, Kindle Ladd*, Jack Mayfield, Scott Myers* and Tyson Seng. The lefties in the pen are Jordan John, Anthony Collazo, Cayle Shambaugh. 

(* indicates newcomer)