The Bedlam Baseball Series gets underway tonight in Tulsa and to say that both teams have a lot to play for over the weekend would be a massive understatement. Big XII tournament seeding, state pride and NCAA Tournament hopes are all on the line for both schools. Yeah, you can bet that it will be intense!
Both the Sooners and the Cowboys are batting .270 on the season with OU being led by Max White's .364 and OSU paced by Trey's .328 batting average. Oklahoma's Hunter Lockwood leads the Big XII with nine home runs while State's Robbie Rea has five dingers.
Where the two teams begin to separate themselves is in the pitching department. The Cowboys are second in the conference in team ERA at 2.89 while the Sooners find themselves with the fifth best ERA in the Big XII at 3.70. Considering OU's recent offensive struggles this stat is more than just a bit alarming.
Friday night's opener in Tulsa will feature a lefty on lefty match-up between Oklahoma's Jordan John and Oklahoma State's Andrew Heaney. John has worked his way to an 8-4 record with a 2.36 ERA while Heaney is 6-1 and sporting a 1.82 ERA. When the series comes to Oklahoma City on Friday night we'll see a match-up between Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray and State's Kyle Ottoson. Gray's record this season is 4-4 with a 4.23 ERA while while Ottoson's sits at 4-5 with a 3.12 ERA.
The Sooners don't have a starter listed for Sunday's finale but the plan earlier in the week was to bring back Dillon Overton who started Tuesday night in Ft. Worth against TCU. Oklahoma State has right-handed pitcher Randy McCurry listed as their Sunday starter. He has a 3-2 record on the season with a 3.60 ERA.
Oklahoma has to get a sweep in this series to take fourth place in the conference. The Sooners will play Baylor in their final Big XII series while OSU gets Texas A&M a week later. That makes a Sooner sweep even that much more valuable. Obviously a series win is the primary goal of the weekend but a sweep has to be on Oklahoma's minds as well.
OSU returns 14 players from last year's team that finished 35-25 and went to the Nashville Regional. They are currently ranked 25th in the nation. Game one in the series is set for a 7:00pm start at Tulsa's OneOK field. The series then moves to Bricktown for a 7:00 start on Saturday and a 4:00 start on Sunday.