The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 26, 2013

Sooners must go through gauntlet without Overton

NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway dealt with a stomach virus this week. Even if he’d been 100 percent healthy, the news he received Tuesday still made him want to vomit.

Left-handed pitcher Dillon Overton is going to miss at least his next two starts with inflammation in his left elbow. The injury was noticed when Overton threw a bullpen session Tuesday. An MRI was performed Wednesday.

Overton, a junior, is projected as a first-round draft pick in Major League Baseball’s 2013 draft. He’s currently 8-2 with a 2.52 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 71 1-3 innings. Overton threw 94 pitches and lasted six innings in the Sooners’ 14-5 victory over New Orleans last Saturday.

Needless to say, losing Overton for an extended period is the biggest curve ball the Sooners have faced this season.

Golloway admitted Thursday he isn’t sure what the pitching rotation will be after Jonathan Gray (7-1, 1.09 ERA) takes the mound at 6:30 p.m. today at L. Dale Mitchell Park in the opening game of a three-game series against Texas Tech (19-22, 5-10 Big 12).

“We had two guys throwing really well and then a closer,” Golloway said referring to Gray, Overton and reliever Jacob Evans. “When one of those guys gets hurt, I don’t know. I’m gonna need to quit throwing it up and give it some time to think about it.”

The Sooners (31-10, 8-4) have a percentage points lead over Kansas at the top of the Big 12 standings. They need to claim the series against the Red Raiders to maintain that position.

Not having Overton makes that chore tougher.

The New Orleans series marked the first time since the middle of March that OU scored more than three runs in the middle game of a weekend series. Overton picked up wins in three of his last four starts, despite the lack of run support. The only loss was 1-0 against Texas. The left-hander threw eight innings and held the Longhorns to five hits.

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