OU baseball: Cade Cavalli returning to mound for Saturday's Bricktown Bedlam game
NORMAN — Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli had been looking forward to starting Friday’s Bedlam series opener for awhile.
The sophomore wanted to take the mound against Oklahoma State in ONEOK Field, about 20 miles north of where he grew up in Bixby.
Cavalli will have to wait a day — he’s expected to start Saturday’s second game against Oklahoma State at Oklahoma City’s Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark instead.
“It would’ve been nice to throw in Tulsa (but) I’m ready to get back,” Cavalli said. “Saturday at Bricktown is going to be live. I’m ready for it.”
Cavalli is just happy to be back on the mound at all after missing his last two starts with a stress reaction in his right forearm.
He’s expected to throw around 60 pitches in his first start since first feeling discomfort in the first inning of a four-inning appearance April 19 at Minnesota.
“He’s healthy,” Sooners coach Skip Johnson said. “He feels good. That’s the biggest difference for him. He’s just got to get in there and not overthink it.”
Cavalli had never experienced much arm strain before, as he didn’t pick up pitching until a few years ago.
His relative youth at the position — and his bright future on the mound — led Johnson and his staff to shut Cavalli down for a time even though Cavalli thought he could pitch through it.
“It was super tough,” Cavalli said. “I’ve had a lot of long conversations with them. We want to win this season, but they’re also looking out for my career and helping keep me smart about it.
“The competitor that I am, I want to get out there and go to war every weekend. It was hard for me to let them shut me down.”
Cavalli hoped to make an impact in all three Bedlam games, but for now he’ll just appear on the mound instead of spending time at designated hitter in the other two games.
Still, he figures to have a big impact on the series. Cavalli is 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA, striking out 49 in 52 1/2 innings to play a big role in having the Sooners atop of the Big 12 in pitching so far this season.
The Sooners have lost eight consecutive games to the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State outscored OU 34-4 in four games last season, and won a 6-5 decision earlier this season in Stillwater.
“We haven’t won so that’s obviously in the back of our mind,” Cavalli said. “I trust our squad this year. We’ve had a rough little bit, but you saw what we did at the beginning of the season and what we can be. I know it’s still in there. It didn’t go anywhere. We’ve just got to get it out of us.”
No. 18 OSU vs. OU
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: ONEOK Field, Tulsa