Dillon Overton started on Sunday. OU won on Sunday.
Usually, those two things go hand-in-hand, with Overton sporting an excellent 2.87 ERA and the Sooners benefiting with a 10-2 record when the hard-throwing lefty pitches.
But that wasn't necessarily the case in this weekend's Bedlam finale.
Returning from a two-week hiatus as a result of elbow inflammation, Overton pitched a relatively ineffective four innings, giving up four runs and leaving his team in a 4-0 hole.
But OU fought back, completing an impressive and much-needed 5-4 comeback victory despite Overton's shortest outing of the season.
“He was battling his tail off, it just wasn't working out,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said of Overton. “And that's not typical him. He gets two strikes on guys, he puts them away and he wasn't putting them away.”
But the fact that Overton was even on the mound is an enormous development as the Sooners near the stretch run.
He missed his past two starts with the aforementioned elbow issue. And with that kind of complication on such a prized arm (Overton is expected to go early in June's MLB Draft), concern can often lead to an immediate season shutdown.
But after some rest, Overton felt better, eventually well enough to be reinserted into the rotation.
“I felt great (on Sunday),” Overton said. “When I was warming up in the bullpen, it was the best I've felt in over a month. But as the game went on, I haven't thrown in two, two-and-a-half weeks. You just get tired and your arm starts getting tired. At that point, we just decided that was enough from me. But overall, I felt pretty good.”
And he'll be needed, with a huge start to come next week at Kansas State, the current Big 12 leaders, before postseason play begins.
He struggled against Oklahoma State, but his return is what truly mattered.
“Winning the ballgame helps our chances as far as getting into postseason,” Golloway said. “But having a healthy Dillon down the road helps us get deep into postseason. So it's kind of a Catch 22, if you don't have a healthy Dillon Overton, you're probably not going to go very far in postseason anyway.”