Again I wont lay out the entire lineup for the Sooners because we may only face them once, but this is a strong pitching team and they hit very well (as does everyone here). We beat the best team in the field, now just hope Jack doesnt follow his usual pattern of tightening up the team on the big stage in Omaha.
We're in the winner's bracket, where we have to stay to avoid running our pen out there too much. We're arguably the hottest team coming in, but so is Oklahoma. They are the team that knocked out Virginia in Charlottesville during the Super Regionals.
NCAA CWS Bracket
Tuesday 9pm EST on ESPN2 - Clemson (44-23) vs. Oklahoma (50-16) - Clemson is the home team.
Oklahoma is making their 10th appearance in the CWS, Clemson its 12th. OU has two national championships. Bobby Shore was key to defeating Virginia last weekend, as he mowed down the Cavs. He allowed 1 run in 7.1 IP in the Regionals against UNC, and pitched 8 shutout innings against Virginia. Weismann has been solid since the ACCT as well so if that continues then this should be a good matchup.
Last game: OU defeated the Chickens 4-3, and Carolina left em loaded twice in the last 2 innings. Their closer Ryan Duke was pretty shaky but otherwise they pitched damn good. I would compile stats from their SR victory over Virginia but I think they're meaningless. They scored 2 runs in the first and 21 runs in the last two games. They've won 14 of their last 16 coming into the CWS.
Clemson defeated #1 seed Arizona State on the arms of Casey Harman and Alex Frederick. Frederick pitching 3 innings there means he will likely not pitch much, if at all, against OU. Expect Leone, Lamb, and/or Haselden to come in.
The CBB previews the Sooners here.
Oklahoma started off the season hot, before cooling off during the month of April. Since beating the Texas A&M Aggies in 13 innings in College Station, the Sooners got hot again, losing only two of their final 16 games. After a second place finish in the Big 12 conference, the Sooners swept through their regional in Norman before traveling to Virginia to battle the Cavaliers. After dropping the opening game, 3-2, the Sooners won game two, 10-7, and crushed the Wahoos 11-0 to advance back to Omaha in search of their third title.
The Sooners finished 2nd in the Big XII in hitting for average, but 1st in HRs. This lineup is not as deep as ASU but is still talented at the top especially. There are hitters at or above .300 throughout the lineup though, so theres not going to be many 'easy' outs. Not much different from Clemson lately. Its high on power with 4 players at double-digits in HRs, and another at 9. They can outslug us and score runs in bunches, which is not encouraging against Weismann. Scott challenges guys up in the zone and gets a lot more fly outs than Harman. We'll need to hope the ball does not carry in Rosenblatt tonight and that Weismann has command low in the zone. It is, thankfully, a RH-dominated lineup.
OU will also play small ball, with steals, hit & run, and a huge number of sacrifices.
3B Garrett Beuchele leads the team offensively with a .371 average, with 16 HRs and 64 RBI. CF Chris Ellison leads off the lineup with a .331 average, with 23 steals. Max White and Cameron Seitzer both have 15 HRs behind Beuchele in the lineup. Cody Reine is probably the hottest hitter on this team in the postseason, and Beuchele has hit in 33 of 37 games lately.
The Sooners have come up with some clutch hitting throughout the season, hitting .320 as a team with two outs on the board. In addition, OU has connected for 206 two-out RBIs, nearly half of the 477 total on the season.
They are a young team too. OU starts six sophomores, one freshman and two juniors in the lineup after losing a Big 12-leading nine players to the draft in 2009.
The team batting stats are as of June 14 for OU. They didnt have an updated one on their site.
Clemson is really just making awesome contact; we're not whipping people with our power lately. All of our hits on ASU were singles. Kyle Parker finally hit a ball hard to the track in RF, the first one he's really killed in a month. John Hinson right now is the NCAAT MVP, hitting around .485 lately.
The Sooners boast three pitchers who can help them beat nearly any team, and a bullpen that can shut down any late rally.
Led by a pair of junior right handers, Bobby Shore and Zach Neal, this Oklahoma staff is one of the stronger ones in the nation. Shore has started 16 games this season, going 10-4 with a 3.86 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 91 innings. Neal, the ace on last year’s 63-1 NJCAA National Championship Howard College team, started 17 games, going 8-3 with a 4.65 ERA. He struck out 88 batters in 98.2 innings, and added a complete game.
RHP Michael Rocha, a player the Sooners picked out of the Texas Longhorns’ backyard, finished the season 7-2, including a win over fellow CWS participant TCU. The junior finished with a 3.57 ERA, and struck out 53 batters to only 19 walks in his 68 innings of work.
OU has a better 3rd and 4th starter than we do and a bullpen with many guys vying for innings pitched. Whereas ASU tends to stick with starters and then go to relievers for multiple innings, OU can pick and choose pitchers and they have several out there to pick from, unlike us. None of them tend to stay in for many innings though, so OU takes advantages of matchups. LHP for LH bats, RHP for RH bats for one or two outs it appears. They don't leave them in there that long, like Jack. Only 4 guys have over 30IP for OU vs. 7 for Clemson. You could attribute some of that to our search for a midweek starter however.
Only two pitchers on the staff have ERAs over 4.00, one of those being a midweek starter/long reliever and another having only thrown 1 inning all year. Compare that to CU with only 3 under 4.00 out there. OU has 2 under 3.00 and 5 guys under 3.50. Thats outstanding for college ball.
Ryan Duke closes the games out, with 11 saves and a 3.41 ERA in 34.1 IP.
Basically its not any easier against their bullpen. Its a definite strength of this team, more than the hitters I'd say. I think we have a better shot beating up the starter.
Defensively, they field quite good, ranking in the teens in the NCAA in fielding percentage. Brad Miller made another error for us yesterday, and you have to wonder when he'll blow a game for us here.
Another tough matchup for the Tigers.