Oklahoma's baseball team has stumbled out of the gate in 2016 but the next four games may be just what the Sooners need to turn the tide for Pete Hughe's young squad. OU has played six of their last seven games away from Norman and has posted an 0-5-1 record in those six road games. Now, the 4-7-1 Sooners return home for a four game stretch that includes Wichita State tonight and Long Beach State over the weekend. A sweep for the week would improve Oklahoma's season record to 8-7-1 which would bring them above .500 for the first time since February 24th.
Kyle Tyler becomes the third freshman hurler to start for the Sooners this season. In two relief appearances this season he has fanned five batters and hasn't allowed a run in 5.1 innings of work. He'll face Wichita State freshman Clayton McGinness, also making his first start, who has recorded six strikeouts on the season but also has a 8.31 ERA.
From the plate Oklahoma is batting .286 at home and are led by Sheldon Neuse and Jack Flansburg who are both batting .302 for the season. Neuse has belted two home runs in 2016 and has a team-high nine runs batted in. They'll be countered by Wichita State infielder Tanner Kirk and catcher Gunnar Troutwine who are batting .429 and .389 respectively. Troutwine has knocked a team-high three home runs on the season.
Neither the Sooners or Shockers have won on the road this season which makes this four-game stretch all the more important for Oklahoma. Following Sunday's finale against Long Beach State, OU will be on the road for the next ten games before returning home to host the Texas Longhorns on April 1st.