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OU Baseball Big 12 Tournament KU Recap

By: Dave Myrick


The Oklahoma baseball team played Thursday in the Big Twelve quarterfinals against the Kansas Jayhawks. That happened. Kansas, was Oklahoma’s opponent. But on a day the Oklahoma defense would commit seven (7) errors, including three in one inning… it was fair to say Oklahoma played against Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Kyson Witherspoon (4.01 ERA, 7-3), bless his soul, should have had, an inning ending ground ball, an inning ending pop fly, and an inning ending throw to first, off a ground ball. Witherspoon, would go four innings, allow two hits, four runs (none earned), strike out six and walk six. Kyson Witherspoon is used to high pitch counts, but this one was not entirely his fault. The lanky right hander would be over sixty-pitches in the third inning. Kansas would counter with crafty right hander Reese Dutton.

Oklahoma pounded out fourteen hits, including five extra base hits, two triples, a home run, and a partridge in a pear tree. Yet they just could not get *that hit* to break things open and provide separation really all game long.

A surefire two run home-run by Oklahoma second basemen Jackson Nicklaus, who is seeing the ball well as kids say, was brought back over the wall in right-center negating Oklahoma of a crooked inning in the bottom of the second. Jaxon Willits (.267 BA) would eventually land the big blow, but there were moments before we can get there.

In the top of the fourth inning Witherspoon, laboring and with a shaky defense behind him, faced a gigantic moment. With morale and body language low and OU trailing 4-2, Kansas loaded the bases with one down and two of their best hitters coming to the dish. Witherspoon struck out the first of the two with relative ease, the third out of the inning, he would earn.

With the bases still loaded, this time two away, Kansas centerfielder Ty Wisdom, would have a twelve pitch at bat, fouling off six straight fastballs with two strikes. To his credit, Witherspoon threw six straight strikes because it was a full count, if he had not kept pounding the zone it would have been a 5-2 Kansas lead. The seventh strike, is up for some debate on strike or not, but he got the call and ended the threat. Keeping Oklahoma well within striking distance and feeling like they had dodged multiple bullets.

The bottom half of that inning, the fourth, Oklahoma would score three after a Scott Mudler (.278 BA) RBI single and then the big blow with shortstop Jaxon Willits (.268 BA) missile shot to plate two and give Oklahoma a lead they would not relinquish. Mike Snyder (.355 BA) and Jackson Nicklaus (.316 BA) would hit triples a piece in the seventh to give Oklahoma a little insurance, it would be needed.

Carter Campbell (5.84 ERA) relieved Witherspoon in the fifth and would throw three innings. Allowing no hits and no runs. Campbell would pick up the win with the effort. Dylan Crooks (2.77 ERA) also pitched an inning, allowing two hits and an earned run. Malachi Witherspoon (6.17 ERA) was brought on with the tying run at the plate in the ninth, and no outs. Malachi would slam the door shut and secure an ugly, ugly, but hard fought victory for Oklahoma.

Jaxon’s younger brother, Oklahoma commit Eli Willits was on hand and fielding grounders pre-game on the Globe Life field turf. Glimpse of the future ? Time will tell if we see young Eli suited up for the Sooners this time in 25.

In the next game, which at the time of this recap is in the bottom of the sixth and has Texas Tech up 8-1 over the Cincinnati Bearcats. Oklahoma State and UCF are after this one in what has become a theme in Arlington this week, a late start. Meaning a late night at the ballpark for yours truly.

Oklahoma will play once again tomorrow, Thursday May 23rd, at 12:30 CST in the semi-finals of the Big Twelve tournament. With Witherspoon and Davis already cycled through the rotation, a lot of curiosity on who gets the game three nod midday tomorrow. My bet would be Carson Atwood as we have yet to see him this tournament. Oklahoma’s offense is potent. They have been all season, and national categories back this up. They have continued the trend this week, even without second team all Big Twelve right-fielder Bryce Madron. Madron, who is nursing a quad injury appears close to a return, though at this point I doubt Oklahoma risks it this week with regionals on deck next week at the Dale.

See ya back at the park bright and early tomorrow, oh wait… I am already here. Maybe they have a cot in the basement. Last Big Twelve go around you all, its a blast.