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Oklahoma Baseball Keeps Sweeping

By: Dave Myrick

The words are, “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…”. After this season for OU baseball, would seem apropos if you replace “wind” with “wins”.

Oklahoma polished off their sixth conference sweep this weekend, taking down a downtrodden Baylor Bears program three in a row at The Dale.

At the time of this article, Oklahoma is number seventeen in the nation in RPI (a very important metric in determining hosts/seeding), and ninth in strength of schedule, another important metric. Some talk of Oklahoma even jumping into a top eight national seed has begun, but the game at Xavier, which would have provided a boon to all the rankings that matter in that regard, was cancelled about an hour ago due to weather. Whatever this week holds, Oklahoma is in fantastic shape to host a regional in Norman, it would be for the first time since 2012 Sooners baseball has pulled that off.

And, oh by the way, Oklahoma just so happened to win the Big Twelve Conference title outright this past weekend against Baylor. Something Oklahoma baseball has never done in its programs history, but is the twenty-third league title for the program overall. “The accomplishment belongs to the players”, said Oklahoma skipper Skip Johnson. “You play the game one pitch at a time, that’s our mantra”… Oh, Skip. Always good for some good old fashioned coach speak. But he is correct, that is how they play, and what they do. And ? It works.

Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson during warm-ups before an NCAA regional championship baseball game against Liberty on Friday, June 3, 2022 in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

They needed a few things to happen, first and foremost, beat Baylor. They did. Second, they needed each of West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas to lose a game. Kansas State gave WVU a loss Friday night, UCF beat the Horns Saturday, and OSU, well, lol… mother nature determined their fate Sunday. Well, actually their administration did when it wasn’t decided to play two Saturday, when the entire western hemisphere knew an inch of rain, lightning and storms was in the forecast for Sunday, when they had game three scheduled.

Whatever the reasoning, they did not play a double-header on Saturday, and Sundays game was shockingly cancelled due to the aforementioned weather. So by math, OSU was eliminated and that left Oklahoma as your outright league champs by noon Sunday. An incredible accomplishment considering OU still has no third starter, and their bullpen continues to get hit, and hit hard in spots.

On top of that, injuries to all-world center-fielder John Spikerman, and newcomer Carter Frederick days apart early on in league play sidelined both for the majority of the conference season, with Spikerman only making his return the last few weeks. Frederick is out for the year, for now.

Game 1:

Did I mention John Spikerman ? Yea, he would have a weekend as the kids say. Braden Davis took his normal Friday start against Baylor on a perfect night for baseball in Norman. Things did not get off to a great start as the defense behind him committed an error on the first at-bat of the game. That set the tone for the first few innings that saw Baylor jump out 6-2 on the Oklahoma ace, at home. One thing that hasn’t gone anywhere all season long for OU baseball, is the offense. One of three in the league batting over .300 (.311 team BA), and have scored more runs than anyone in the Big Twelve by a country mile, I think they have seventy more, but don’t feel like looking it up. Sue me.

Spike (.401 BA), as he is affectionately known, would slash a smooth .623 in the three game set, knocking in ten and scoring nine times. Oklahoma would score nineteen in game one on eleven hits. Oklahoma would plate nineteen runners and bang out sixteen hits, including eight extra base hits and two triples. Speaking of triples, Bryce Madron (.321 BA) would hit one of those to get things cranked up in the bottom of the first. An Easton Carmichael (.360 BA) RBI ground out would score another and after two Baylor led 6-2.

Davis and the OU defense would settle in, and OU would score eight unanswered to take a lead they never relinquished. An RBI walk by Jackson Nicklaus (.336 BA) and a SAC fly by Jaxon Willits (.252 BA) would cut it to 6-4 in the third. The fifth is when things started to separate. Mike Snyder (.350 BA), who had a huge night (4/5 w three singles and a double), and John Spikerman would hit RBI singles, Madron and Carmichael would ensure they scored and OU plated four in the inning.

Baylor would only score one run from the second inning on, while OU would score seventeen. An RBI double by steady Eddie Jackson Nicklaus put the cherry on top of game one. Yea, a 19-7 final is what that looks like. Davis, even with a rocky start, would pick up the win to move to 7-3 on the season.


Game two would be the first of two played on a glorious day for baseball in Norman, and saw OU fireballer Kyson Witherspoon take the bump. Witherspoon (.388 ERA), coming off one of his better outings of the year at Texas Tech last week, was very good once again. He would go 7.0 innings full, scattering six hits, striking out three and allowing only one run, earned. Like game one, he had plenty of help from the Oklahoma offense. Baylor grabbed a 1-0 lead in top of the first, and the game would remain 1-0 Baylor until the fifth when Oklahoma finally broke through.

A tremendous job by Witherspoon to keep it 1-0 up until the fifth I have to say, as Baylor routinely threatened, and he routinely stranded them looking befuddled. A balk of all things tied the game in the fifth. Kendall Pettis (.256 BA) would hit an infield single to plate Anthony Mackenzie in the sixth, followed by a fielders choice and an RBI single by that man, John Spikerman. By the time the sun set on the sixth inning, it saw Oklahoma roar back to lead 5-1.

And there it would remain until the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Baylor had the misfortune of the WRONG MAN being at the plate, in the form of John Spikerman. He would take an early count fastball, and with as pretty a lefty swing that exists, plant it over the wall and send the berm bums scrambling for a grand-slam souvenir.

It was all over but the bus rides at this point as OU would go on to win game two 9-1.


Around an hour later, the second game of Saturday’s double-header would get underway. And saw a surprise start by Oklahoma senior Jamie Hitt. Hitt (8.88 ERA), who has struggled mightily the last half of the season lost his day three starter role a few weeks back. The issue is, Oklahoma hasn’t found his replacement, yet. Grant Stevens tried awhile, that didn’t work.

Carson Atwood pitched admirably at Tech last weekend, so many thought that is what we would see for game three against the Bears Saturday night. Whatever the case may be, it was Hitt. And things did not go well. Baylor would jump out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a double and a SAC fly. OU would answer with one in the home half, but a Mike Teplanszky home-run off Hitt in the second, followed by an RBI ground out and a throwing error saw Baylor lead this one 5-1 through two.

In the second Oklahoma, and him again, John Spikerman, answered ed back with six runs. Spike doubled, Carmichael doubled, Snyder doubled, Nicklaus scored on a balk, Pettis walked with the bases juiced, and OU led 7-5 headed to the third. Baylor would show some fight in this one and tie things in the fourth, but I think it just pissed Oklahoma off. OU would once again answer immediately in the bottom half. A Madron homer, a Nicklaus bunt, a Willits SAC fly, and a triple a piece by Carmichael and him (Spike), would shoot Oklahoma out to a 19-7 lead through five. Mercifully, run-rule was in effect in this one. Carson Atwood (3.14 ERA) would pick up the win, as Dylan Crooks (2.66 ERA), and Grant Stevens (5.88 ERA) were the only Sooners hurlers to toss in this shortened bloodbath and the game was called after seven, finishing off the Oklahoma sweep of Baylor.


Oklahoma has been a weird team this season. They have flashed really elite, and somewhat average. And I think that’s where they are. Right *there. An offense that can compete with anyone, one of the best in the country. One of the toughest 1-9 out there. Pitching, defense… see above. I have said on these recaps for three weeks, with Davis and Spoon, they are an extremely tough Friday/Saturday out, IF Davis and Spoon can take them to the mid to late innings.

Recently, more often than not, especially in league play, they have done this. Sunday, or day three, yea. Still unclear. I would bet from here on out it is completely match-up dependent. Atwood, Campbell, Carsten, Crooks, maybe a Girton sighting as well… a mixed bag of all of them. And this is no knock on a kid, at all, just reality, I can’t see them trying the the same Sunday starters they have. It just does not, and has not worked. And puts them in a hole immediately. Baylor is not good enough to have that matter. Oklahoma State, is good enough to take advantage, and did. Yea, it was at a different part of the game, but the point still stands.

This Oklahoma team is very good. The offense, elite. And they will go as far in post-season play as pitching and defense takes them.

Follow along for Big 12 Tournament coverage, right here all next week from Arlington, TX. As yours truly and Rives Mitchell will have you covered start to finish with boots on the ground for Franchise OK!!

Oklahoma returns to action Wednesday, May 22nd 12:30 CST in the Big 12 Tournament, Arlington. Opponent TBD