Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 17, 2013

Sooners head to K-State to wrap up regular season play

Former Keys standout Jake Fisher to start on Saturday for OU.

Moods were light as Oklahoma boarded a bus for Manhattan, Kan., Thursday afternoon. What they’ll be like by Sunday depends on what transpires over the next three games.

The Sooners’ season hinges on the outcome.

“If we go up there and win three games, we’re Big 12 champs. We’ll be having a big party in Manhattan,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “On the other side if we go up there and don’t play well and get swept, we better come back and win the Big 12 tournament. You’ve got the complete opposite spectrums based on what happens this weekend. It couldn’t be more different. Who would have ever thought one weekend could mean so much?”

Few would have back in April. Back then OU appeared to be cruising toward its first Big 12 Conference championship and there was legitimate talk of being a regional host in the NCAA tournament.

But that was before the Sooners dropped seven of their last nine games. The 35-17 overall record and 12-9 mark in the Big 12 looks decent on paper, but most believe it’s not even enough to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

It’s why the Kansas State series will either be boom or bust. Win the series and the perception of the Sooners changes.

“We’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but we still have a chance to do it,” OU first baseman Matt Oberste said. “We just need to win the series to get in the NCAA tournament. If we get a sweep and win the Big 12, that would be extra.”

Standing between the Sooners and the extra credit is the Big 12’s hottest team — Kansas State (37-15, 14-7). Just one victory  gives the Wildcats their first Big 12 title. The first opportunity comes at 6:30 p.m. today at Tointon Family Stadium. OU will send Jonathan Gray (8-2, 1.43 ERA) to the mound against Kansas State’s Levi MaVorhis (5-0, 2.91 ERA).

Ordinarily, having Gray on the mound has been a very comfortable feeling. Gray knows the importance this one game could have on the rest of the season.

“My strategy stays the same. I want to go up there and shut them down in the first game,” Gray said. “Hopefully, that confidence carries over to the second game and the third game if we can beat them up pretty good.”

At times, Gray has had that impact on teams. The loss OU suffered last Friday against Oklahoma State was its first in the opening game of a Big 12 series this season.

Tonight will show if it was aberration or not.

OU will send Jake Fisher (1-2, 2.15 ERA) to the mound Saturday and Dillon Overton (8-2, 2.87 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Sunday’s finale.

OU’s hopes that finale is for the Big 12 championship.

“Knowing we have to win there and sweep them to win the conference, we know it’s gonna be tough, but we also know it’s gonna be a hectic fun weekend,” Overton said. “We know what we have to do and we have to try to do it.”

The Sooners have one last chance to halt the slide that’s occurred over the last three weeks. “I feel like there’s nowhere to go but up from here,” Fisher said. “This is the worst part of the season. I feel like we’re gonna come back and play solid.”

The Sooners are just about out of chances to prove they can come back.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Stocks