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Headed to Norman

Wichita State is a No. 4 seed at Norman, which is both the best deal and the worst for the Shockers. On the good side, it’s close (Shocker fans will represnt well), it’s familiar and OU has not seen WSU’s weekend pitching. On the bad side, OU hammered WSU 15-0 and 8-1 and played name-that-score in both. The hint of hope is found deep in one of those box scores, where Charlie Lowell threw three innings in relief, struck out four, gave up three hits and an unearned run. WSU’s weekend pitching, in that short time, was competitive with one of the nation’s best hitting teams. We’ve seen before when fearsome teams in the mid-week (Oklahoma State last season) are not as overpowering against weekend pitching.

That said, OU’s hitting is the prime force in this regional, just like it was in 2006. Arkansas, ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier this season struggled down the stretch and at one point started seven freshmen. I don’t know much about Washington State at this point, other than the Cougars are a real outsider in this family feud. The Cougars do have four opponents in common with the Shockers. They went 2-2 vs. OU in Pullman in February. They lost a game to ORU in Houston. They went 1-2 at Long Beach State and 0-2 at Pepperdine. The Cougars also went 0-3 at Arkansas in a season-opening series.

  • The biggest news out of the watch party was seeing Tyler Grimes’ right hand in a splint. He injured it Saturday sliding into home. No diagnosis yet.He said it has been difficult to sleep because of the throbbing pain. He sees a specialist tomorrow. Apparently, Memorial Day weekend is a bad time to need to see a doctor. Losing Grimes at shortstop and in the leadoff spot is a major problem. He has a few days to heal, so we will see what happens as the week goes on.
  • The schedule from Oklahoma. Ticket info.
  • Reaction to Oklahoma State’s inclusion (as well as Baylor) is swift and brutal by Baseball America. I agree. It’s a joke that a team that can’t make its conference tournament receives an at-large bid. Those schools are given weeks and weeks to make their case (and are given a much easier path than many schools) and failed time and time again. I don’t know who deserved that spot, but I’m confident some team had a better season than the Cowboys. Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com agrees.
  • No Missouri State. Kansas is in the North Carolina regional and Kansas State heads to Houston for its first regional appearance.
  • I hope I don’t get stuck in the Kellen Sampson Suite at the Sooner Legends hotel. The phone never stopped ringing.
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