No. 18 Oklahoma Hosts Baylor, Aims for NCAA Regional Bid

The No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners, led by coach Skip Johnson, defeated Baylor 19-7 in the series opener, maintaining their three-game lead in the Big 12 standings. The Sooners aim to secure a top spot in the conference and host an NCAA Regional event with a strong finish to the regular season.

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No. 18 Oklahoma Hosts Baylor, Aims for NCAA Regional Bid

No. 18 Oklahoma Hosts Baylor, Aims for NCAA Regional Bid

The No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners, led by coach Skip Johnson, return to L. Dale Mitchell Park this weekend for a crucial three-game seriesagainst the Baylor Bears. With a 29-17 overall record and an 18-6 mark in Big 12 play, the Sooners currently hold a three-game lead in the conference standings and are in prime position to secure a top spot in the Big 12 Baseball Conference Regular Season race.

Oklahoma is coming off a dominant 19-7 victory over Baylor in the series opener on Friday night. The Sooners' high-powered offense, which has been performing at an elite level throughout the season, got off to a strong start by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After falling behind 6-2 early, Oklahoma rallied to build a four-run lead of their own.

First baseman Michael Snyder praised the team's offensive prowess, saying, "One through nine, it's a tough out regardless of who you're facing... There's speed, there's power, there's fight in every dude on this team." Starting pitcher Braden Davis, who has won back-to-back Big 12 Pitcher of the Week awards, settled down after a shaky start to give his offense time to get back in the game. Snyder called Davis a "baby-faced assassin" who "fills up the zone, has a good feel for all of his pitches."

Coach Skip Johnson emphasized the importance of the team's focus on one pitch at a time, stating, "If they continue to play one pitch at a time, just have quality at-bats, not worry about the outcome and just focus on what they can control, I think that's the separation." Johnson also praised the bullpen's performance, saying, "The bullpen picked up (Davis)... Dylan (Crooks) really set the tone. Then we came back and scored some big runs."

The series continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT, with the Sooners looking to secure the series win. Saturday's game will also feature a special jersey retirement ceremony for legendary coach Enos Semore, the program's all-time winningest coach. The series concludes on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT, which will serve as senior day for Oklahoma's nine outgoing seniors. The group, which includes Michael Snyder, has combined for 147 wins, one Big 12 tournament title, and a vs, baseball Men's College World Series appearance in 2022.

With a strong finish to the regular season, the Sooners aim to solidify their case for hosting an NCAA Regional event. Oklahoma currently sits atop the Big 12 standings, followed closely by Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas, all with 15-9 conference records. A series win over Baylor, who enters the weekend with a 21-26 overall record and a 9-15 mark in Big 12 play, would further bolster the Sooners' postseason resume and keep them in contention for a top-eight national seed.