“The only time I’ve ever hit leadoff before was back in my high school days. I was slumping when it happened then, too,” Oberste said. “I guess I’m working out of it.”
Oberste has put up huge numbers this season, but he’s only hitting .199 in conference play. The Sooners need that to change. The chance arrives at 6:30 p.m. Friday when Texas Tech comes to L. Dale Mitchell Park for the opening game of a three-game series.
At the top of the order, there’s less of an opportunity to pitch around Oberste because teams don’t want to put the leadoff batter on base.
“I’ve been striking a lot and not getting many walks,” Oberste said. “This gives the opportunity to see some more fastballs and help other guys out in the lineup.”
Igniting Mayfield was the other bonus. He had two homers and drove in a team-high eight runs. He’s still hitting just .249 on the season, but showed what he can do when he’s hot against New Orleans.
It would have been better if the Sooners could have taken all the confidence it built against New Orleans to Arkansas.
Instead, OU must wait for the Red Raiders Friday. If the Sooners can carry their success forward, they should be hitting their stride at the right time.
Dominant starting pitching has allowed the Sooners to win a lot of games this season. Adding a penchant for scoring a lot of runs to that formula could take them a long way.
OU hopes what happened against New Orleans is only the beginning.
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