11 games in, everything you need to know about coach Skip Johnson's Sooner baseball team
Nobody sneaks up on anybody on the softball diamond.
Sometimes a top-eight national seed fails to get out of its own regional, but on the rare occasion it happens, it’s always a really good team with a really lopsided win-loss record, that owned it’s conference, that was actually a terrific team the whole time that pulls it off.
The baseball diamond’s different.
Oklahoma was not a spectacular team out of the gate last season. Indeed, after 10 games, the Sooners were 5-5.
After ripping off six straight wins to get to 11-5, they promptly lost two of three to New Orleans, even at L. Dale Mitchell Park, on the eve of conference play.
Once regular-season conference play was over, they were just 33-21, still figuring it out, still searching for their best game.
It was only after four straight Big 12 tourney victories OU became a team to watch as NCAA play began.
So take that with you as you’re introduced to the 2023 Sooners, already 11 games into their schedule, already offering the kind of topsy-turvy results that make where they’ll be come May and June anybody’s guess.
What they do today and Wednesday, playing host to UNLV before a weekend series at Houston, is also unlikely to give us any humongous clues upon what they’ll eventually become. Still, to be sure, two wins to get to 8-5 will look a lot better than the 6-5 mark they’re carrying into the series.
Some losses have been regrettable.
Like, if there’s a good way to foreshadow eventual failure, one is to drop a series to a religiously affiliated school from a conference you’d thought disbanded, but that’s what happened when Cal Baptist, from the WAC, took two of three from OU to begin the season.*
*The WAC, aka Western Athletic Conference, was once the home of BYU, Air Force, Fresno State, Colorado State, San Diego State, Tulsa and other sometimes proud Division I-A football schools, though it’s since become an FCS football conference and home to such (non-)ballyhooed institutions as Abilene Christian, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon, Southern Utah, Texas-Arlington, Utah Tech, Tarleton State and the school once-called Texas-Pan American that now goes by UTRGV, among others.
Another way to breed no confidence is to lose any game, even should you take the series, to a university nobody knows where it’s located and OU’s done that, too, falling 6-3 to Rider, located in Lawrence Township, N.J., on Feb. 24.
But don’t let that get you down Sooner fans, for coach Skip Johnson’s Oklahoma Nine just exited the Frisco Baseball Classic winning two of three from real programs from real conferences, topping Cal 9-5, Mississippi State 15-9 and falling to Ohio State 12-9.
Anyway, 11 games in, here’s everything you need to know:
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