OU baseball week in review: Sooners start season strong
NORMAN — OU baseball hit the road to start the season and had a strong start, taking two out of three from Virginia in the Wahoos Classic in Pensacola, Fla. The Sooners begin their home schedule with six games this week at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Week record: 2-1
Overall record: 2-1
The week ahead: vs. Texas Southern (3 p.m. Tuesday, 3 p.m. Wednesday), vs. Illinois State (3 p.m. Friday, noon/3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday)
Hot start by Graham
After hitting eighth in the season-opener, freshman Peyton Graham moved up to the No. 2 spot for Saturday's doubleheader and rewarded Skip Johnson's trust.
Graham was 3 for 7 with two runs, an RBI and three walks in the doubleheader sweep.
Tyler Hardman was 4 of 13 at the plate with four RBIs and a home run while Brady Lindsly was 3 for 8 in his two games.
The Sooners' identity this season figures to be solid pitching and defense.
That held true over the weekend as OU committed no errors in the series victory.
With Graham and third and Brandon Zaragoza at shortstop, the left side of the Sooners' infield is particularly strong with the glove.
Virginia made six errors in the series.
OU was the only team in the Big 12 without an error in the opening weekend.
Cavalli settles in, Acker impresses
The Sooners' only loss of the series came 6-0 in the opener but even in that, Johnson found positives.
Opening night starter Cade Cavalli took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out eight in 4 2/3 innings. He gave his team a chance, though, even if OU's offense didn't take advantage.
"When Cade got into trouble, he reset, gathered his thoughts and went back to just pitching," Johnson said. "That was something he never did last year, and something we've been working on. I think that was a big step forward for him, as much as anything."
On the other end of the rotation was Dane Acker, a junior college transfer making his Sooners debut in Saturday's series finale.
Acker went five innings, allowing just one hit and one run and striking out six.
"Dane really set the tone in the second game just by throwing strike out," Johnson said. "He really kept them off balance."
Wyatt Olds followed with three shutout innings.