Oklahoma baseball: Breaking down the Sooners' 2013 team

The Sooners have added left-handed hitter Craig Aiken, and Matt Oberste will be a good source of power if he's healthy.
by John Helsley Published: February 14, 2013
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photo - UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA / OU / NCAA TOURNAMENT / NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Oklahoma players and coaches celebrate their 5-2 victory over Appalachian State in an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game, Monday, June 4, 2012 at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff) ORG XMIT: VAAS119
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA / OU / NCAA TOURNAMENT / NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Oklahoma players and coaches celebrate their 5-2 victory over Appalachian State in an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game, Monday, June 4, 2012 at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff) ORG XMIT: VAAS119

A look at the 2013 OU baseball team

Coach: Sunny Golloway, eighth season (303-160-1)

Last year: 42-25, 13-10 Big 12 (fourth)

Glad he's back: Somehow, Max White went undrafted a year ago, despite a productive year in which he showed his versatility by making starts at four positions and leading the team with 25 multi-hit games and 18 multi-RBI games.

Most missed: Steven Okert grew into the closer's role a year ago, eventually providing the Sooners with a shutdown reliever for the late innings. Overall, he led OU in wins (9), saves (5), appearances (30).

Major addition: Craig Aiken, good enough to move White, a senior, to left field, is a little (5-foot-10, 170) left-handed hitter with speed who will immediately slot at the top of the order. He's also dazzled defensively in workouts.

On the spot: Matt Oberste emerged a year ago as a power source, cranking six mostly late-season home runs to provide a jolt to the offense. A troublesome forearm limited his availability in the middle of the season and still isn't 100 percent. But if he's good to go, he's among the best power hitters in the Big 12.

X-factor: Many programs would covet a pitcher like Billy Waltrip for the front of their rotation. At OU, he's the No. 3, behind co-aces Dillon Overton and Jonathan Gray. A 12th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles, the left-hander could give the Sooners a dominant weekend rotation — a key ingredient for a run to Omaha.

Touch 'em all: Already established as the Big 12 favorite in a preseason polling of the league coaches, the Sooners are aiming higher, much higher, as in riding high into the College World Series. If the pitching is as good as it looks and a cast of newcomers blend in with the few returning position players, this could be a special season.

2013 OU BASEBALL SCHEDULE

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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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