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February 20, 2013

HD: Choplick, Oberste lead OU to doubleheader sweep

17 months is a long time.

Eight months of it spent without a ball in his hand. The 6-foot-8, 261-pound southpaw spent his first season in Norman watching from the dugout while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

HD: Adam Choplick K's 6 in return from Tommy John

When he finally started throwing it was just 30 feet at a time. Monday evening Adam Choplick received the text message from his head coach he had been waiting for.

He would be returning to the mound in the Sooners first game of Tuesday's doubleheader versus Arkansas Pine Bluff.

"It's a great story about Choplick," said Sunny Golloway "I told him, 'your going game one. It's going to be nationally televised so be sure and call (his) parents and let them know."

"It's amazing cause you've got to be thinking about a lot of different things. The last time he was pitching something popped and he's out there throwing five innings."

Earning the victory in his first career start the Denton (Texas) Ryan product returned from the nearly year and a half lay off allowing only one hit and striking out six as Oklahoma (6-0) took game one, 4-2.

"I definitely had jitters going in. Every game is a big here but after the three run (third) inning was when I really started to calm down and really started to pitch," said Choplick.

"With all the work everybody has put into me. The people behind the scenes. It's really been a pleasure to just go out there and show them the time isn't wasted. Just go out there and do my best and it worked."

Months of rehab coming to fruition for Choplick who admits it was tough, at times, to return to the bullpen and test out his arm following surgery.

"My first bullpen I was scared. I was just nervous I was going to tear something but after I threw it just felt really good."

Which should be nothing but a positive for Golloway and pitching coach Jack Giese who kept a vigilant eye on his pitch count Tuesday. Passing his first major test on the mound throwing 65 pitches (45 strikes) in a seemingly effortless start.

"We wanted him to go as long as we could be we're going to protect his arm and it's all about pitch count," said Golloway. "We watched his velocity drop to 84-85 and he feels great. He just got tired."

With his biggest hurdle now behind him Choplick now hopes to see that number of innings increase. Joining an already talented pool of freshmen that have made an impact for Golloway's squad through the Sooners first 6 games.

"I didn't throw at all last year. I started throwing in about February (2012) at about 30 feet and then worked my way back until they put me on the mound this spring in intrasquad," said Choplick.

"I'm definitely ready for it. Hopefully I can go seven or eight innings every week. That's a goal of mine."

Game 2: Oberste 3-R HR leads Oklahoma to 11-1 victory

Following Oklahoma's game one victory Golloway told his squad they needed to make a move. Unhappy with his team's effort he walked out of the Sooners clubhouse leaving his squad with a challenge.

That challenge was accepted as Oklahoma matched their season high in runs (11) and hits (12) en route to an 11-1 run rule victory.

"What I saw in that second game was nothing but unbelievable energy the whole game," said Golloway. "We made a move today. I feel like we're a much better club right now between game five and six."

Reining Big 12 Player of the Week Matt Oberste went 2-for-4 including a bottom of the fifth three-run homerun that extended Oklahoma's lead to 6-1.

Redshirt junior Drew Krittenbrink, making his second career start, threw four innings of shut out baseball and struck out four.

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