Following a weekend sweep of the 19 Ways Invitational and a Tuesday-night triumph over Little Rock, the Oklahoma Sooners (9-1) return to action this weekend with a four-game series against the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (4-1) who, apparently, exist.
With another Saturday doubleheader, OU continues its jam-packed early schedule as it looks to pad its overall record with mid-major foes. An early offensive explosion, however, suggests this Sooners run might be more than just noise.
The (Probable) Matchups
Friday: Jake Irvin (2-0, 0.64) vs. Brendan Smith (0-0, 0.00), 6:30 p.m., SoonerSports.TV
Saturday: Kyle Tyler (0-0, 3.48) vs. Mike Appel (0-1, 5.68), 2 p.m., SoonerSports.TV
Saturday: Austin Hansen (1-0, 0.00) vs. Andrew Hinckley (2-0, 2.70), 5:30 p.m., SoonerSports.TV
Sunday: Dylan Grove (0-0, 3.86) vs. Ron Grant (0-0, 5.40), 1 p.m., SoonerSports.TV
Oklahoma doesn’t yet know which starter will pitch which Saturday game, so Tyler and Hansen might end up reversed. Also, OU has declined so far to officially name a Sunday starter. Grove has made two weekend starts so far, but the Sooners might opt for Ryan Madden (1-0, 3.86) instead.
See those ERAs on Appel and Grant? They’re not horrendous for early-season college ball, but expect the Sooners to rake against them nonetheless. OU has scored 9 or more runs in six of its first 10 games, an impressive output.
Senior first baseman Austin O’Brien is leading the charge with a .471/.537/.735 line so far, while Jack Flansburg (1.025) and Steele Walker (.955) have posted a similarly gaudy OPS.
Kyler Murray has made three straight starts in left and will continue seeing the field this weekend. He’s swiped a team-high 4 bags so far, though he’ll have to drive the ball to improve his wonky .222/.462/.222 slash line.
On the mound, Jake Irvin has been everything one could want from a Friday night guy. He’s struck out 17 in 14 innings, while walking just 2 and scattering 5 hits. He’ll probably have little trouble with a middling CCSU offense on Friday.
Oklahoma will take another three in a row to run its streak to 11 games before finally falling on Sunday. With an impressive 12-2 start under its belt, OU might start to get more attention in the rankings as conference play approaches.