After a winless weekend on the road at the No. 7 TCU Horned Frogs, the Oklahoma Sooners return home to host the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a midweek non-conference match-up. Originally slotted for Tuesday at 6:00 PM CST, Pete Hughes planned to throw yet another freshman arm in Jake Irvin. However, the game has been pushed back to Wednesday with the 6:00 PM start time remaining intact.
Over the course of the season, Coach Hughes has found success by utilizing the freshman class. Up to this point, twelve of the Sooners eighteen wins can be credited to freshmen. It then should be no surprise as to why the decision was made to start Irvin, a right-handed pitcher from Minnesota. Earning a third consecutive midweek start, Irvin boasts 25 strikeouts over 24.1 innings of work while posting a 2-0 record. The wins fall in the month of April against Dallas Baptist and Wichita State while the RHP owns a 5.55 ERA on the year.
On the other side of the equation sits the Cowboys' Michael Mertz, a junior hurler. With a 4.15 ERA to his name, Mertz recorded a single win to two losses while tossing 39 strikeouts over 34.2 innings on the bump. Looking down the mound at a player like Sheldon Neuse presents a challenge.
Nuese has driven in a team high 25 runs on the year holding a .371 batting average, another team high. Yet, surrounding players like Alex Wise and Steele Walker are starting to find a rhythm when stepping up to the plate. Wise may current stand sub-.300 but has recorded regularly doubles to the field. Walker on the other hand has connected on 11-of-27 appearances at the plate over the past eight games.
The two programs meet in-conference later in the year for a game in Bricktown followed by two more in Tulsa.