Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Update: As Raisin noted, the season opener has been postponed due to rain. Friday night's game will now be played as part of a doubleheader Saturday at 12 pm PST.
Alright, so I get to put the season previews behind me and move onto something far better...THE ACTUAL SEASON!
Friday night figured to be the Sooners' best shot at stealing a game from the Bruins, but that all changed Wednesday when it was announced the Oklahoma ace, Stephen Porlier would miss his start due to inflammation in his shoulder. With Porlier out, So. RHP Jeremy Erben will get the start Friday night. Erben is in his first season with Oklahoma after transferring from Weatherford J.C., where he went 5-5 with a 4.33 ERA last season.
While Erben has no D-1 experience, he has college baseball experience and that puts him ahead of the Sooners' Saturday starter Fr. RHP Michael Rocha. A power pitcher who struggles with his command at times, Rocha should be at the mercy of Bruin batters all afternoon long. Oklahoma would likely keep Rocha on a short leash so as not to damage his confidence so Saturday should also prove a good time to get into the weak Oklahoma bullpen.
Sunday will be the Sooners' best shot at winning a game this weekend as So. RHP Chase Anderson takes the hill. Anderson, a transfer from North Central J.C. had a very strong 2.00 ERA and 115 K's in 85 innings. Anderson's weakness is his tendency to run up a high pitch count so if the Bruins can be patient at the plate, they should be able to get Anderson out early and pound of Sooners relievers late.
The Sooners are an extremely strong defensive team so if the Bruins plan out waiting around for mistakes, they are going to be waiting for a long time. Oklahoma may not have an abundance of talent, but Sunny Galloway coached teams are always well prepared and rarely beat themselves. At the plate, Oklahoma is led by 1B Aaron Baker who batted .321 last season, however if the Bruins really want to stifle the Sooner offense, they need to keep CF Aljay Davis off the bases. The speedy leadoff hitter stole 17 bases last season is is their catalyst.
All told, there is no reason for the Bruins to lose this series. While a sweep is normally a lot to ask for, everything points to a Bruin sweep this weekend. The Sooners are predicted to finish 7th in the Big XII this season (out of 10. ISU and Colorado do not field teams) and will be without Porlier, who will make a relief appearance at best this weekend.
Come on out to Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend as check out the top ranked Bruins as they begin their 2008 campaign. Friday's game is a 6 pm PST, Saturday's is at 3 pm PST and Sunday's is at 1 pm PST. For those of you going to the basketball game versus Oregon, you can hop over to JRS after the game and receive free admission just by showing your basketball ticket. Tickets for the season are $7 for adults, $5 for children and free for Wooden Club members. If you can't make it out to the gane, you can follow it on GameTrackers via the official site.