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College Baseball Weekend: Sooners And Wildcats Settle The Conference Title

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The Oklahoma Sooners have watched their RPI plummet over the last month as their grip of the Big 12 Conference slip away. The culprit is a streak in which they've lost seven of their last nine games, including conference series against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Yet, with all of their troubles, Oklahoma is just three wins away from winning a regular season conference championship.

USA Today Sports

Game 1 Friday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 2 Saturday, May 18, 6:30 p.m. CT
Game 3 Sunday, May 19, 1 p.m. CT
Location Manhattan, Kan. | Tointon Family Stadium
Radio Sooner Sports Network

Of course none of those wins will come easy for Oklahoma. Unexpectedly OU's pitching staff struggled through the entire Bedlam series last weekend, and to a point has been an issue for a majority of the season. Now the Sooners face a Wildcat line up that leads the conference in team batting average at .321 for the season. Kansas State have five of the Big Twelves top ten batters, led by Austin Fisher's .358 batting average. Shane Conlon's 47 runs scored this season are the most in the conference and his seven home runs are the fourth most. Jared King has knocked in 44 RBI this season, ranking him third in the Big 12. To say that Kansas State's lineup is powerful would be a massive understatement.

To combat the KSU lineup Oklahoma's aces (Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton) are going to have to be superb and the third starter in the rotation (most likely Jake Fisher) will have to pitch the game of the season. Both Gray and Overton are involved in a four-way tie for the most wins in the Big 12 at eight.

It won't be enough to have strong pitching though. Oklahoma will also need to come alive from the plate as well and put the ball in play. During the recent slump the Sooners have dropped from the top of the conference in team batting to third with a team average of .287 on the season. In what could be a bit of relief for the struggling Sooners, Kansas State is seventh in the Big Twelve in team pitching with a combined ERA of 3.77 for the year.

Oklahoma must have a series sweep of the Wildcats to win the conference and attain the top seed in next week's conference tournament. The flip -side would put the Sooners in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament should OU get swept themselves.