The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 15, 2011

Casey at the bat for Bedlam

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The next day arrives at 7:30 tonight when OU (25-8, 6-5 Big 12) opens the Bedlam series against Oklahoma State (25-8, 8-4) at ONEOK Field in Tulsa before moving to Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City for Game 2 and Game 3.

For both teams, the three-game series represents the most important weekend of the regular season. Crowds of more than 10,000 typically cram into the ballparks to see one of college baseball’s best rivalries.

Johnson’s re-emergence has been a blessing for the Sooners because it has come from a senior who has already experienced all the wide-eyed moments in college baseball.

“I think he brings an element of newness and energy. To me, he brings a calming effect because he’s still a veteran,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “He was in pressure situations in both his freshman and sophomore years. I like his experience right now, along with his energy from kind of being the new kid on the block, so to speak.”

Johnson’s happy to be looked at that way. Breaking back into OU’s lineup hasn’t been easy. The Sooners have a ton of outfield talent. Johnson has been mixing in with Cody Reine and Max White at either left or right field.

None of the three know they’ll be starting until they see the lineup card.

“We’ve got a lot of talent in the outfield. There’s seven guys that can go out there and play on any given day,” Johnson said. “I was fortunate enough to get the chance.”

Should he make the most of his chances against the Cowboys, it will be hard to keep him out of the lineup.

“There always seems to be one guy that just comes through and comes through in the clutch,” shortstop Caleb Bushyhead said. “He’s that guy right now.”

John Shinn 366-3536 jshinn@normantranscript.com

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