Open Thread: Longhorns Go for the Sweep

These Longhorns are slowly but surely bringing back memories of the Stubbs Era. - Rob Tringali

Texas took care of OU 7-2 Saturday, setting up super senior Nathan Thornhill to try and secure a three-game sweep of the Sooners on the road.

Friday night's nutty back-and-forth Game One of the Texas-OU series would, I thought, have two possible effects on the rest of the series. The tangible impact is that, because Texas chased the OU starter Friday before the first inning was up, the Sooner bullpen would be thin for Saturday and Sunday. The intangible result is the psychological effect losing a game like that might have on a home team in need of a series win.

Oklahoma used only one reliever yesterday after Adam Choplick went 3.2 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits. Robert Tasin held Texas to just three hits the rest of the way (although the Longhorns made efficient use of them, scoring two runs over the last 5.1). So to the extent Friday bled over into Saturday, it was only in the Sooners' mental state. But the old adage in baseball is that momentum is the next day's starting pitcher, and that's probably a more accurate assessment of why Texas won yesterday and why they should feel good about their chances today.

Dillon Peters once again showed his outing against Texas Tech was an aberration, holding Oklahoma to just two runs over seven innings despite giving up three walks and seven hits. He worked out of trouble in the third, when OU had two men in scoring position with one out. He did it again in the seventh, with another two-on, one-out situation. Not a dominant performance, to be sure, but good pitchers keep the opponent off the scoreboard even when they don't have their absolute best stuff. Peters is a good pitcher.

And so is Nathan Thornhill, who takes the hill this afternoon and tries to get Texas' second straight Big 12 conference sweep, and first on the road. Texas has put up at least one crooked-number inning in each of the first two games in Norman, with a four-run fourth yesterday to go with one-run scores in the first and fifth innings. If Thornhill and his sub-1 ERA get that kind of support again today, Texas should get out of Land Thief Central with three more conference wins and still all alone in first place in the conference.

Oklahoma State and TCU have both started the weekend with two wins as well (over West Virginia and Kansas, respectively), so they remain hot on the Longhorns' heels in the title chase. Coming out of Norman with a sweep would be huge, as Texas plays TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekend coming up next. The Longhorns host both contenders at the Disch, which doesn't hurt.

First thing's first, though. Texas at OU, Game Three, 2:30 PM, ESPNU. This is your open thread. Hook 'em!

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