The Oklahoma Sooners have yet to crack the rankings of any major sites like D1Baseball or Baseball America, but their 17-2 start has them sitting at No. 12 at Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and No. 20 for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association which, yes, is a real thing. Point is, the Sooners are gaining traction around the country. But if they want to run with the big dogs, they’ll have to prove themselves against quality competition.
Defeating an ACC foe on the road would be a great place to start. The Sooners travel to Atlanta for back-to-back midweek clashes, starting Tuesday against the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech and wrapping up Wednesday against Georgia State. Georgia Tech is just one game, but OU’s about to dive headlong into conference play and it’s games like these — even if Tech isn’t FSU or Louisville — that will show the Sooners where they stand, especially the offense.
The (Probable) Matchups
Tuesday: Dylan Grove (0-1, 4.05) vs. Ben Schniederjans (0-0, 5.40), 3 p.m., ACC Network+
Wednesday: Kyle Tyler (0-0, 2.51) vs. TBA, 5 p.m.
The Sooners haven’t actually said so, but I’m guessing that Kyle Tyler will take the mound on Wednesday, mostly because he hasn’t pitched in two weeks for no apparent reason. Maybe he’s hurt? If not, I expect he’ll get the nod.
But I’m more interested to see Dylan Grove against the Jackets offense, which is slashing .328/.394/.565 as a team so far this year. Grove was inconsistent agains the Wichita State offense last Tuesday and needed 89 pitches to get through 4 innings, allowing 2 runs and striking out 9.
Sooners DH Brylie Ware will look to continue the hot hitting that made him the Big 12 newcomer of the week, while Steele Walker will try to start a new hitting streak after his last one was snapped at 21 games on Saturday.
Kyler Murray hasn’t played since the Central Connecticut State finale on March 5.
Also, don’t look now, but freshman shortstop Brandon Zaragoza — who usually bats 8th or 9th — is basically hitting like Ichiro so far. No breaks in this lineup.
I like the way this team bounced back from a letdown over the weekend. I’m calling for lots of wins until they prove me wrong. A midweek sweep it is.