By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Here’s a closer look at OU’s four-game season-opening sweep of Hofstra:
Friday – OU 10-4
Saturday – OU 3-2
Saturday – OU 11-10 (11 innings)
Sunday – OU 7-4
Series storyline – Close calls
Hofstra came to Norman a dangerous ballclub, underrated by those who aren’t sharply tuned to the college baseball scene. But HU leaves a dejected and disappointed one, sporting a misleading 0-4 record thanks to tough breaks and untimely mistakes. OU won all four games, but the final three were dramatic nail-biters, two decided by one run and the other on a walk-off bomb in the ninth. But credit the Sooners, a talented and gritty bunch that produced enough pitching to support its clutch hitting
1B Matt Oberste – The mammoth three-run walk-off stands as the weekend’s pinnacle moment, putting a definitive cap on the Sooners’ sweep in powerful fashion. But Oberste’s opening act was about plenty more than those late game heroics. Finally healthy, or at least as healthy as he’s been at OU, Oberste was a dominant force all weekend, going 6-for-14 with a double, triple and homer. And his nine RBIs led the team. Don’t be surprised if OU’s leading candidate for breakout player of the year wins Big 12 Player of the Week.
LHP Dillon Overton – A nice start for the staff’s new ace. With plenty of interested pro scouts in attendance, wielding their radar guns, Overton was impressive in his seven easy innings on Friday night. He gave up two hits, one unearned run and struck out seven, effortlessly breezing through the Hofstra lineup with more than enough run support backing him. A comfortable Friday win for the Sooners, something they hope becomes routine behind Overton’s left arm.
Other key contributers
CF Max White - Six hits and four runs scored for OU’s best all-around player. He even got hit by a pitch three times.
RHP Corey Copping - What a debut for the freshman from California, throwing seven innings of two-hit ball and leaving a comfortable 4-1 lead to his bullpen on Sunday (who proceeded to blow his first career win). Great sign for the Sooners, who could use another reliable arm.
The Sooners entered 2013 ranked 14th. They’ll likely jump a couple spots after this impressive showing.
Big 12 update
OU and Tech are the only conference teams not to lose a game this weekend, both going 4-0. TCU, in its first baseball weekend as a Big 12 member, was a disappointment, getting swept by Ole Miss.
The Sooners have a pair of mid-week home games against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, before heading down to Corpus Christi next weekend for an early season tournament.