Texas Longhorns baseball (20-12, 4-5 Big 12) hasn’t gotten off to the start it wanted in Big 12 play, but David Pierce’s team has a great chance to build its NCAA tournament resume this weekend.
The Longhorns will host the No.16 Oklahoma Sooners (26-6, 4-2 Big 12) this weekend, with the first game beginning Friday at 7 pm CST at the Disch.
Despite finishing under .500 in the Big 12 last season, the Sooners have been one of the best team in the conference this year, already notching series victories over top 25 opponents Baylor and Texas Tech.
Oklahoma is led on offense by sophomore Brylie Ware, who had an electric March and is hitting .381 in conference play thus far. Fantastically named sophomore outfielder Steele Walker is another force in the lineup, as he holds a .349/.571/.403 overall slash-line and leads the team in doubles (10) and triples (3).
The Sooners are hitting .296 on the year, but in conference play are at a .226 average. This is still better than the Longhorns, who have managed only a .201 average in conference against worse competition.
The Sooners also may have a pitching advantage over the ‘Horns, as Oklahoma has more depth in the bullpen. Though every Oklahoma weekend starter has an ERA of 3.00 or higher, the team as a whole is sitting at a 3.06 ERA. This is thanks to guys like righty senior reliever JB Olsen, who has thrown for 8.2 scoreless innings in Big 12 play. In total, Oklahoma has five relievers who have pitched an inning or more who have not allowed a run in conference games.
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Texas’ last Big 12 match-up was an embarrassing series loss to Kansas, where the ‘Horns managed to win one game out of three in Lawrence. The Longhorns scored only one run in the second game against the Jayhawks, spoiling a solid performance from Morgan Cooper and company who only allowed two runs on the game.
The Longhorns bounced back this week with a convincing 8-1 win over a good Sam Houston State team.
Texas will look to continue the momentum of that 12-hit game, as the Longhorns will keep riding the hot bats of catcher Michael McCann and Kacy Clemens.
You can tune in to tonight’s game on the Fox Sports 1 or 104.9 the Horn. It’s 5:55 pm, and OU still sucks.