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Big 12 baseball notebook: Key series highlight Big 12 weekend

Five conference teams stand within a game of the lead, and all are involved in potential swing series the next three days.
by John Helsley Published: April 10, 2014

The Big 12 race could gain clarity this weekend.

Or become even more clouded.

Five conference teams stand within a game of the lead and all are involved in potential swing series the next three days.

The feature series focuses on the teams at the top: first-place Texas (6-3) at second-place Oklahoma (4-2). TCU and Kansas, two of three teams tied for third at 5-4, clash in Lawrence. And Oklahoma State, also at 5-4, makes the difficult cross-country trek to West Virginia.

So it’s a potential statement weekend.

Or, it could simply reveal that this league is headed for a chase that extends to the back end of May. So far, there’s been little separation.

For the Sooners, the best news may be that their big series spans the weekend, and not mid-week, where they’ve dropped three straight, including a 2-0 shutout to Oral Roberts Tuesday night.

OU is 10-2 over the past four weekends, including Big 12 series wins over Kansas and Kansas State, yet haven’t mustered much mid-week, which isn’t pleasing to coach Pete Hughes.

“The scoreboard is on. You have to go try to beat somebody,” Hughes said after Tuesday’s blanking of his ball club. “I don’t think that’s who we have in our dugout. It’s something that has been addressed and will continue to be addressed.”

Pitching is at a premium in Norman, where Texas arrives with the league’s best staff earned run average at 2.13, while OU is third at 3.05. In conference-only games, the Sooners sit at 2.35 and the Longhorns at 2.60.

So while the winds are due to blow out Saturday and Sunday, the emphasis is on the mound matchups: OU’s Corey Copping (2-0, 3.06) vs. UT’s Parker French (4-2, 1.93); OU’s Adam Choplick (3-1, 3.59) vs. UT’s Dillon Peters (4-2, 2.72); and OU’s Jake Elliott (2-3, 3.61) vs. UT’s Nathan Thornhill (5-0, 0.73).

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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