Big 12 baseball journal: OU's Levi Prater battling illness
OU’s Levi Prater battling illness during first start last week
Oklahoma pitcher Levi Prater lost 15 pounds due to a viral illness before his outing Thursday, according to Sooners manager Skip Johnson. He began to experience symptoms during his start at Texas last week.
Prater allowed five runs on three hits in his one-third inning of relief Thursday in OU’s 15-3 loss to TCU in an elimination game at the Big 12 Tournament.
"He didn't quite have the velocity that he normally has," TCU catcher Zach Humphreys said. "He's a really good pitcher, so it was nice for him to not have his best stuff, and we could take advantage of it."
OSU’s Simpson gets unusual pregame workout
Oklahoma State catcher Colin Simpson caught all nine innings and had a couple of big at-bats in Wednesday night’s Big 12 Tournament opener, including a solo home run in OSU’s 5-2 win over TCU.
Thankfully for the Cowboys, Simpson’s legs were fresh enough to handle all that after his longer-than-normal pregame jog.
“I got the best warmup I’ve ever had all year -- actually probably all four years,” Simpson said. “I accidentally put my black jersey in my bag instead of my orange one. We got to the field and I opened my bag, and I’m frozen because I had the wrong jersey. So I decided to take a nice jog to the Renaissance Hotel and back, and got back, and I was warm and ready to go.”
Boone showing knack for clutch plays
Trevor Boone, OSU’s power-hitting center fielder, displayed a variety of his skills with a couple key defensive plays and a massive home run on Wednesday.
A first-team All-Big 12 selection, Boone has become a source for clutch plays for the Cowboys.
“Trevor has blossomed recently into one of the most dynamic players in our conference,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “He’s becoming a real special player. I don’t want to let him become too big-headed, but he’s a guy who can do some stuff. You don’t see guys who can play center field at 220 pounds and hit home runs like he does.”
Brewster starts for OU
OU senior Blake Brewster, who entered Thursday with just 13 prior starts this season, started in the Sooners’ Big 12 Tournament elimination game against TCU. Brewster had a hit in both at-bats Thursday. He was the only Sooner with multiple hits in Oklahoma’s 15-3 loss to the Horned Frogs.
“It’s a brotherhood,” he said of the team. “I won’t be able to forget the guys that I met here, the guys that have come before, the coaching staff… . There’s so many things that people preach about baseball and that it’s like life. You’ll never forget the people that are involved.
“And I would think that’s the biggest thing that I’ll take out of this whole season, this whole career, is making an impact on not just your teammate, not just your family, but the little kids, the people who drive from San Antonio who don’t even have anybody to see, make an impact on their lives.”
TCU hit three home runs in the fourth inning of its win over Oklahoma to tie the Big 12 Championship record for dingers in an inning. Who originally set that record? Why, that would be Oklahoma State in 1997.
Maddie Lee and Scott Wright, Staff writers