Sign Up for a Yearly Subscription and Save

Sooners Will Begin Season In Arlington

The Oklahoma baseball team will begin their season journey in Arlington Texas for the Shriners Children’s College Baseball Showdown. Let’s talk about it.

The Sooners season last year was interesting, to say the least. It was filled with a lot of ups and downs, and it was rough in conference play, with OU going 11-13, and having a final season record of 32-28. They lost in the Charlottesville Regional portion of the bracket and lost two games to East Carolina to end the season.

The good news for manager Skip Johnson is that he has a lot of key pieces from last year returning this year. Players like John Spikerman, Kendall Pettis, and Bryce Madron are all back this year and will be looking to do damage. Those three guys were important for OU’s success last year, and they will need to have big years again if the Sooners want to get back to Omaha and compete for a national title.

John Spikerman was everything a manager could want in a lead-off hitter last year, and was about as spectacular of a defensive Center Fielder in the whole country. I was in person for the Big 12 tournament in Arlington, and I saw him track down a couple of fly balls I thought were for sure going to find some grass in the big outfield at Globe Life Field. He has a fantastic approach at the plate and wants to just put the ball in play, to set the table for the guys behind him. He has great speed and is a threat to steal a bag at any point in the game. Not enough can be said about the luxury of having a switch hitter leading off. He hit .270 last year and took his fair share of walks with 49.

Kendall Pettis is returning for his senior year and will be looking to continue his great college career. Pettis was arguably one of OU’s best hitters last year posting a batting average of .309 with 24 RBIs and 36 walks. Much like Spikerman, Kendall Pettis also has great discipline at the plate and rarely goes out of the strike zone to chase pitches. He makes pitchers come to him and make mistakes over the middle of the plate. He was a major part of OU’s run to the College World Series, and there are a lot of expectations for him this season.

Kendall Pettis fields a ball in the outfield against East Carolina.

Bryce Madron is also back for his senior year and will be looking to keep swinging his hot bat from last season. Madron had a spectacular junior season swinging to an average of .320 with 12 home runs, and 51 RBIs. He provided a lot of the power in the lineup last year, and the Sooners will need that again this year to be successful. He is an experienced ball player and will provide good veteran leadership to the younger guys coming in this year. Madron was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 baseball team.

Johnson was also able to dip into the transfer portal and fill some much-needed pitching holes. OU was able to bolster the stable of arms that will be available to Skip on any given night.

One of the best pickups in the portal for OU is Left-handed pitcher Jace Miner from Wichita State. He posted a 2.05 ERA last year with the Shockers and earned Second-Team All-American honors. He will be a big part of what the Sooners do on the mound this season.

The Sooners will face the Oregon Ducks, the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the tournament. The first game for OU is scheduled for Friday at 3:00 p.m.

Images courtesy of Keith Lucas/Sideline Media

Latest News
Talk About It in The Switzer Center

Recent News

The Barry and Mack Show