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Oklahoma Baseball: Sooners Gearing Up For Big 12 Tournament Run

The Sooners open up play in Arlington against West Virginia on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field.

ARLINGTON, TX – For the first time since 2018, Oklahoma (33-20) is primed to make a return to the NCAA Tournament when the field is revealed on Monday’s selection show.

But, that doesn’t make this week’s Big 12 tournament at Globe Life Field in Arlington any less important.

The No. 19-ranked Sooners enter the postseason playing their best baseball of the year having taken each of their last five weekend series, including last weekend in Lubbock against No. 12 Texas Tech.

With their place in the big dance solidified, Oklahoma can now afford to turn their attention to bigger things in regards to seeding and potentially trying to get a regional played in their park next weekend.

“Well we can’t control what those guys’ mindsets are in the NCAA selection committee,” head coach Skip Johnson said this week. “What we got to do is just do our part and play good baseball.”

While Johnson knows all the Sooners can do is win as many games as possible this week, he acknowledges what would be the significance of Oklahoma finding a way to land a top-16 seed and bringing NCAA tournament baseball back to Norman.

“I think our body of work shows itself,” Johnson said. “It would be exciting to be a regional host here. There’s no doubt about that. But we can’t control that, all we can do is do what we can. And if we play really good and we get that opportunity, then that’s great. It’s great for the university, it’s great for our program.”

Entering the conference tournament, the Sooners have been hitting and scoring runs at a rate as impressive as any OU team in recent memory.

In their last 15 Big 12 games, Oklahoma has scored seven or more runs an absurd 13 times with eight of those games going for at least ten.

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How to Watch:

  • Oklahoma vs. West Virginia: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+

“I think those guys (the offense) are playing with a lot of confidence,” Johnson said. “They’re having really good at-bats individually.”

“Situational hitting and playing offense. Bat control. Bunting. Doing all those things, I think we’ve done a really good job at, and we’ve gotten better and better.”

The Sooners’ impressive offense allows the team the luxury to keep their starting pitchers on normal rest this week, treating the Wednesday opener against West Virginia (33-20) as more of a bullpen day with right-handed reliever Carson Atwood getting the start.

“We need to get those guys (the weekend rotation) back on full week’s rest going into the weekend,” Johnson said. “I’m pretty sure Jake (Bennett) will end up going on Thursday. We’ll move those guys back to Thursday, Friday, Saturday in that sense.”

“That’s the smart thing to do. We’ve got to make sure those guys get their full week’s rest.”

Getting the start for the No. 6-seeded Mountaineers will be right-hander Jacob Watters, who the Sooners scored five runs in 3.1 innings against less than two weeks ago on May 13.

First pitch for Oklahoma’s opening round battle with West Virginia is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now via ESPN+ with Clay Matvick and Greg Swindell on the call.

Should OU win, they will face the winner between No. 2-seeded Texas Tech and No. 7-seeded Kansas State on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

An Oklahoma loss would mean the Sooners will be playing an elimination game against the Red Raiders/Wildcats loser at 12:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.