NORMAN — On the surface, Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes didn’t use a whole lot of strategy in his team’s two-game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Hitters dug in and tried to drive the ball with every swing. In two games, OU stole just one base and never attempted a sacrifice bunt.
“You want to get the bats going midweek so you feel good about your club, and so the guys feel good about their weekend play,” he said.
The Sooners (4-1) will get a little better idea where they’re at after three games in the University of Central Florida Tournament in Orlando, Fla. this weekend. The action gets under way when the Sooners face Citadel at 11:00 a.m. today. OU then plays the host Golden Knights at 5 p.m. Saturday and Ohio State at 9 a.m., Sunday.
Scoring runs against the Bulldogs (2-2 with wins over Virginia Tech and Louisville), Central Florida (3-1) and Ohio State (2-2) should be a little more challenging.
Nonetheless, the Sooners leave L. Dale Mitchell Park for the first time hitting .335 as a team and averaging 11 runs a game.
“We’ve put up a lot of runs and know all these guys are looking forward to this weekend’s series and they’re fired up and confident at the plate,” second baseman Hector Lorenzana said. “That’s what we’re going to need this weekend because we’re playing some tough teams.”
How tough will ultimately be decided by how many runs the Sooners can put up. Hughes is sticking with the same pitching rotation as last weekend’s series against Seton Hall.
Left-hander Jacob Evans (0-1, 5.06 ERA) will take the mound today. Lefty Adam Choplick (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will get the start Saturday against the host team. Right-hander Jake Elliot (1-0, 3.60 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound against the Buckeyes on Sunday.
With the exception of Evans’ start against Seton Hall in the season-opening 7-5 loss, the Sooners have put up at least eight runs every game.
They’ll try to continue that trend at Central Florida.
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