Oklahoma posted their second consecutive shutout, a feat last accomplished by the Sooners way back in 2009, to open Big 12 Tournament play with a 8-0 win over Texas Tech. Oklahoma combined late inning scoring with solid pitching to coast their way to what proved to be an easy victory.
Senior Dillon Overton got the start on Friday and was good but not great as he continues to work his way back from a late season injury. The lefty went five innings scattering three hits while striking out five and walking six. Ralph Garza Jr. came on in relief of Overton and was incredibly effective over three innings of work facing just one over the minimum number of batters. Kindle Ladd came on to pitch the ninth and finish things off for the Sooners.
The offense may have taken a while to get going, but once it did the OU bats caught fire. Maintaining their modest 1-0 lead heading into the final two innings, the Sooners exploded for seven runs in the final two frames. Two in the eighth and five more in the top half of the ninth sealed it for OU.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign for an offense that was struggling mightily prior to tournament play was the balanced offense from Friday's lineup (box score). Four different Sooners had multiple hits in the game and six different batters were responsible for OU's eight runs driven in.
With the win, Oklahoma is now 2-0 in pool play and will face the #1 seed Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (CST). No matter what K-State does in their game later today, Oklahoma will have to win to advance to Sunday's championship game. Because of the weather induced change in the tournament format, if the two teams were to finished tied with 2-1 records in pool play the higher seed automatically advances (which would obviously be K-State).
Expect Jake Fisher to get the start much like he did to close out the regular season on a Sunday start in Manhattan where the Sooners avoided a series sweep.