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Oklahoma baseball: Sooners have a battle ahead at Big 12 Tournament

OU must win the tourney to make the NCAA field, and opens play against Bedlam rival Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
by Ryan Aber Published: May 20, 2014
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photo - OU's Sheldon Neuse watches after hitting a pop fly during a Bedlam baseball game between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 15, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
OU's Sheldon Neuse watches after hitting a pop fly during a Bedlam baseball game between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 15, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

This isn’t the way first-year Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes wanted it to be.

He wanted his Sooners to arrive at the Big 12 Tournament playing for position in the postseason instead of fighting for the chance to continue their season past this week.

“Obviously, you talk about our season and we’re disappointed,” Hughes said.

The Sooners enter Wednesday’s 4 p.m. tournament opener against Oklahoma State knowing their path to an NCAA regional.

At 28-27, the Sooners must win the tournament to advance to the postseason.

“We’re certainly backed up in a corner, but sometimes those teams are dangerous,” Hughes said.

Oklahoma feels confident in its chances this week despite the Sooners’ struggles throughout the season.

The Sooners’ offense has been one of the best in the league all season, and the pitching turned in its best series in more than a month, allowing only seven runs in the last regular-season series against the same Cowboys lineup they’ll face in the opener.

“They did an unbelievable job this past weekend,” Sooners utility man Mac James said. “That’s a really good offense they’ve got over there — several hitters that are at the top of the league.

“They were really good at the beginning of the year so we knew what they could do, it’s just a matter of them showing it.”

A big component in showing it has been the addition of starter Jake Elliott back into the rotation near the end of the season after Elliott missed five weeks with an injury.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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