ARLINGTON, TX – The Oklahoma Sooners baseball team is off to a very fast start in 2020, and they kept that rolling into a Tuesday night matchup with the 12-3 UT Arlington Mavericks.
This was OU’s first true road game of the season believe or not, so it was going to be interesting to see how the team responded to a true road environment for the first time.
As per usual, here is a recap of the game followed by some thoughts and reaction:
Oklahoma def. UT Arlington 3-0
This game was defined by OU’s fantastic pitching, as really the entire season to this point has been.
The Sooners have some legit bats in this lineup, but most everyone knows the pitching is what sets this team apart as a potentially legit contender to make a run to Omaha.
Getting the start was the lefty freshman Jake Bennett, who was once again very solid going four shutout innings allowing just two hits and picking up three strikeouts.
OU had an early chance to put a crooked number on the board in the second when they had the bases loaded with no outs. Logan Kohler would then ground into a double play to effectively neutralize the Sooners’ potential big inning – although it did get a run across to get OU a 1-0 lead.
Logan Kohler would come through a couple innings later in the fourth with a sacrifice fly to get the Sooners out to a 2-0 lead, and they would then turn to the bullpen to open the fifth.
Ben Abram tossed a couple shutout innings before handing it off to Carson Carter in the seventh – who kept the Mavericks off the board as well.
After a medley of Sooner pitchers teamed up to work a scoreless eighth, Tanner Tredaway came up with a sacrifice fly of his own in the top of the ninth to extend the OU lead to 3-0.
Jason Ruffcorn then came in and slammed the door on an Oklahoma shutout in the bottom half to get the Sooners a win in their first true road game of the season.
Thoughts and Reaction
This is a really solid midweek road win over a good UT Arlington team.
The Mavericks are not currently ranked in any polls, but a 12-3 record is a 12-3 record. Not to mention this has historically been a very competitive series with OU holding just a 23-12 all-time lead on UTA after Tuesday’s OU win.
The bats didn’t do much tonight, and that is going to happen, but when you have the arms that OU does you always are going to have a chance to win.
This was precisely why so many people were high on this year’s squad, because even on nights where the bats are forced to fight for every bit of offense they get – the game always felt comfortable for OU because the pitching staff is so strong.
To not use any of your top three starters, and also to not use many of your top relievers (outside of Ruffcorn), and still toss a shutout on the road against a good team is wildly impressive.
This team will face some skepticism up until they take this winning into conference play, but man things sure do look good right now.
OU now sits at 14-4 and will head out to California for a 4-game set with Cal Poly beginning on Thursday night.