Oklahoma has played three games and already it’s seen just about everything.

Last weekend at the Texas-Pan American Classic, the Sooners held off Texas State for a 6-5 victory, blasted Texas-Pan American 16-3 and were blasted back by Lamar in a 21-9 loss.

“I don’t know how Lamar scored that third touchdown,” OU coach Sunny Golloway joked. “In baseball, you’re going to have days like that.”

The fact OU has 52 more regular-season games makes it easier to laugh off one rough outing.

But there won’t be any joking around at 3 p.m. today when the Sooners open the home portion of their schedule against Western Illinois (2-0) at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

It’s the first of a three-game series that concludes with Game 2 at 3 p.m. Saturday and the finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.

After scoring 32 runs in the first three games, it would be easy to think the Sooners will try to keep up their high-scoring ways. They may very well do so, but Golloway said one of the big reasons they had so much success at the plate was their ability to play small ball.

“We were able to bunt and move runners around,” he said. “We’ve got the offense to run away from people, but we still have to be able to do that.”

With brisk weather in the forecast, runs could be at a premium.

The Sooners will stick to last weekend’s rotation on the mound with one possible exception.

Daniel McCutchen (1-0) will start today and Steven Guerra (1-0) will make his second start Saturday.

OU hasn’t named a starter yet, but sophomore right-hander Ryan Mottern, who missed all of last season due to elbow surgery, could make his first start since the 2004 season.

Mottern will also see time at designated hitter in the series. He went 4-for-9 last weekend and drove in five runs. He’s tied with first baseman Kevin Smith for the team lead in RBIs.

“He’s given us a lot of power,” Golloway said, “but we still have to take a look at him at the mound,” Golloway said.

The Leathernecks are coming off a two-game sweep of Alabama State. They won’t be making their first trip to Norman either. Western Illinois beat the Sooners 5-4 back in 2004, but were swept in a three-game series last season.

John Shinn366-3536jshinn@normantranscript.com

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