OU baseball: Sooners' bullpen might be just as strong as starting rotation
Damien Magnifico, Steven Okert are exceptional pitchers — but they are not in Oklahoma's weekend rotation.
NORMAN — Damien Magnifico is a flame throwing right-hander, widely considered a premium prospect in the upcoming MLB Draft.
He pops the glove and lights up the radar gun, causing opposing hitting coaches to turn their scouting report into a warning label.
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But not even Magnifico, and his lightning arm, can crack Oklahoma's stingy weekend rotation.
“We have a guy coming out of the pen for us that throws 100 to 103 miles an hour,” outfielder Cody Reine said. “I mean, he's not even in our rotation. People are going to be scared saying, ‘OK, if he's not in the rotation, what are they going to run out there on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday?'”
The answer: Jordan John, Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton, a lefty-righty-lefty trio that has combined for 21 wins this season.
And that three-headed monster, leading a staff that coach Sunny Golloway calls the “most balanced we've ever had,” has hit its stride in recent weeks.
In the season's defining series against Baylor, OU received a combined 16 shutout innings from John and Gray against the Big 12's best offense.
In a 1-0 blanking of Andrew Heaney and Oklahoma State last week, Overton was the pitching star, throwing 71/3 scoreless and striking out eight.
“Our first guy, Jordan John, is really good,” Golloway said. “He gives our team a tremendous amount of confidence, but I don't think our confidence drops off when Gray or Overton are on the mound.”
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