Oklahoma baseball: OU coach Sunny Golloway adjusts pitching rotation

Loss of Dillon Overton has forced Golloway to manipulate rotation. And it all started Friday night against Texas Tech.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: April 26, 2013
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“We had a little cat and mouse going on,” Golloway said.

The only issue: who would Golloway pitch?

First, he checked with Gray to make sure he wouldn't mind moving his start to Saturday. Then he asked Gray for his recommendation for a replacement.

When Gray offered up Fisher, the same name Golloway said he had in his head, it clinched it.

Next, Golloway made a call to Fisher.

“I called Jake and I said, ‘Jake, if you're asked to pitch tomorrow are you going to be ready to go?'” said the Sooner coach. “He said, ‘I'm ready, I'll give you my best.'

“I said, ‘Your best isn't going to be good enough. You've got to tell me you're going to win.'”

Fisher's response: “I said, ‘All right, I'm going to go out there and win.' And that's how it went down.”

The call caught Fisher off guard.

“It was out of the blue, for sure,” he said. “I thought I'd still be the back end (bullpen) guy. I started my whole life; I never threw out of the bullpen until I got here. So it's not like starting is a new thing for me. I'm comfortable starting.”

And it showed.

Previously a late-inning reliever, working only 20 innings all season, Fisher made his case for replacing Overton in the rotation. Making his first start, the senior left-hander posted career-bests with 7 1/3 innings and 10 strikeouts, allowing seven hits and no runs.

He worked around some first-inning trouble, then settled in for an extended outing that took even Golloway by surprise.

“Did I think he would give us four or five solid yes?” Golloway said. “What he did was pretty special.”

Fisher had plenty of backing, with the Sooners jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their first at-bat, then tacking on runs, with Jack Mayfield's three-run home run in the fourth the big shot in a 15-hit attack.

Mayfield's blast, on a 1-2 pitch, easily cleared the wall in left-centerfield, boosting the lead to 5-0 in the fourth and giving Fisher comfort to work.