Location: RIP Griffin ParkRadio: KREF 1400 AMGame 1: 6:30 PM Friday March 23rdGame 2: 5:00 PM Saturday March 24thGame 3: 1:00 PM Sunday March 25th
Game Two Recap
The Sooners desperately needed a win Saturday night and thanks in large part to the left arm of Dillon Overton they got that win. Overton wasn't even supposed to start the game originally as head coach Sunny Golloway had previously announced that Jonathan Gray would start Saturday night. In a clear sign that we the fans are not crazy, Golloway moving Overton up showed that he was feeling the pressure of just how badly the Sooners needed to win a Big 12 game.
Overton wasn't necessarily dominant, giving up three runs (two earned), but wasn't far off it in going the distance for the complete game victory. The lefty struck out five, walked none, and scattered eight hits over his nine innings of work. Again, not to be Mr. Negative, but your alarming stat of the night is again the pitch count for another OU starter. Golloway left Overton in for 126 pitches the night after he allowed Jordan John to throw 124 pitches. Maybe this is normal and I'm just not familiar with college baseball enough, but part of me really feels like he (Golloway) is potentially jeopardizing these kids' future.
As great as winning Saturday night was for this team, it will mean very little if they drop the rubber match Sunday and lose the series. It puts starter Jonathan Gray in a big spot and how he responds to that could tell us a lot about him and this team.
Game One Recap
Oklahoma's series opener against Texas Tech Friday night was important for multiple reasons. One, being to set the tone for the series as a whole as most Friday night games do. Two, starting conference play 0-3 after getting swept by Texas was bad enough but an 0-4 start just digs that hole a little deeper. Three, and I keep harping on this I know, but I can't escape the feeling that Coach Golloway is on the dangling periously on the edge of losing this team and thus the entire season. So Friday night's 6-1 loss to Tech and the manner in which the Sooners lost in was a substantially massive disappointment.
As we told you earlier in the week, Coach Golloway had decided to move the Sooners best pitcher this season so far, Jordan John, from the bullpen into the starting rotation. John, in his first start of the season, was ok for a majority of the game, keeping the Sooners in it after working out of multiple jams. He wound up going just over seven innings, allowing five runs (four earned), striking out six, and walking three. The more alarming stat however was that Golloway left John in the game to throw 124 total pitches. As alarming as it was, it was also incredibly telling in that it clearly showed how little confidence Golloway has in his bullpen. John wasn't pitching with a lead or going for the win, OU was trailing the entire time John was in the game. Golloway left him in for the ridiculous amount of 124 pitches because he didn't believe the bullpen could keep it as close as John did.
As for the Sooners bats, well they didn't appear to have made the trip down to Lubbock Friday night. Credit in large part for that to the Tech starter and a name any OU fan should find familiar. Duke von Schamann, son of Sooner kicking legend Uwe von Schamann, was dominant and completely shut down the Oklahoma "offense." von Schamann pitched a complete game six hitter and the only run he gave up was an unearned one.
As big as Friday was for this Oklahoma team, after losing, Saturday just got even bigger. Winning Saturday night is absolutely vital not just because it's obviously essential in order to give yourself a chance to win the series, but also because of how fragile I believe this team's mentality to be a loss would almost guarantee a second consecutive series sweeping loss on Sunday. In my opinion, we're going to learn a lot about this team Saturday night. If this team loses Saturday night, you're going to hear a bunch of people tell you how there is still plenty of season left to play but they'll be wrong.