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OU Uconn Regional Preview

By: Dave Myrick

The Connecticut Huskies got a surprise win vs the prohibitive favorite of the Norman regional, the Duke Blue Devils on Friday at the Dale.

Oklahoma pitcher Kyson Witherspoon (26) throws during an NCAA baseball game against Tennessee on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma won 5-1 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

This did not derail the focus of Oklahoma later in the day as they would dispatch the ORU Golden Eagles 14-0. Kyson Witherspoon, though much of it self inflicted, had to throw some pressure packed pitches in the early innings. Kyson would walk the bases loaded in the second, and was a pitch away from doing it again in the third inning. Thus, his pitch count was astronomically high through three… that being said, like a fine wine, he would get better with time. He ended up throwing by the numbers, a gem of a game. Going six innings full, allowing zero earned runs, three hits and striking out eight.

But, like I said, this is a preview… Uconn comes in at 33-23 on the year, 17-4 in the Big East. Probable starter for the Huskies is Friday night guy Garrett Coe. Coe comes in at 9-5 on the year with a 4.53 ERA. Another possible starter would be Stephen Quigley. Quigley, with a 3.89 ERA is 5-3 on the season.

On offense the Huskies are scrappy. Only three guys are hitting .300 or better one through nine. Korey Morton bats lead off and Luke Broadhurst bats clean-up. They pace the club in average and home-runs respectively. The Huskies have four guys with double digit home runs, and beat the Duke Blue Devils 1-0 in the first game of the Norman regional. They are coached by head coach Jim Penders, he is in his twenty-first season at the helm of the Husky ship.

Oklahoma will likely counter with Friday night ace Braden Davis. Davis is 9-3 on the year with a 4.31 ERA, and has developed into one of the best pitchers in this league, if not the best. Davis’s last outing came in Arlington last week against a TCU squad that was playing for their tournament lives. The Frogs would counter with Big Twelve pitcher of the year, Peyton Tolle. In a dual of two of the league’s best, Davis was masterful, throwing a complete game shut out of the Frogs and sending them to the losers bracket in Arlington by a final of 4-0.

One would assume OU knows what to expect when Davis toes the rubber, if that’s the case and the offense can do what they’ve done all season, it sets Oklahoma up very well to move on to Sunday and the winner’s bracket game at two o’clock against the Duke Blue Devils who dispatched the ORU Golden Eagles earlier today on this field.

Stat watch: Kendall Pettis currently holds a tie for ninth all time in stolen bases at Oklahoma with 57. Pettis has recently passed OU associate head coach Reggie Willits’ career mark of 54, and assistant coach Todd Butler’s 53.

OU returns to action Saturday June 1st at 8 PM CST