Austin (KXAN) – Texas baseball has fought to an 8-4 conference record halfway through the 24 game Big 12 slate, good for tops in the league. This weekend the Longhorns will battle the team at the bottom of the Big 12 in their rival Oklahoma.

The Longhorns are coming off a 20-0 victory in a midweek showdown against Abilene Christian after an eventful series win on the road against Baylor. Now even as their opponent this weekend has lost three of four conference series, they know it will still be quite a test.

“How some of these guys are going to handle this series,” said Longhorns Head Coach David Pierce on what he’s looking for against Oklahoma. “Do they make it bigger than it is. It’s another Big 12 weekend series against a really good team.”

The Longhorns have won the last two series against Oklahoma. For TCU transfer Porter Brown, he’s in his first go around with the Red River Rivalry but knows what the battle means.

“I just want to win,” said the junior outfielder Brown. “We want to win the Big 12 as a unit and as a team. Rivalry or not, we’re just going to go up there and play good baseball this weekend and win the series.”

Pitching is key for Texas as they continue on deep into the season. A major piece for the Longhorns staff is working his way back and expected to return soon from Tommy John surgery.

Tanner Witt had an outstanding first season with the Longhorns in 2021, earning Freshman All-American honors. His sophomore year was shutdown after just two appearances but now appears poised to return.

“He’s progressing well,” said Pierce on Witt. “He threw [Wednesday], thirty pitches. Kind of the goal is the get him a [bullpen] next week…If all goes well he may throw against TCU the 30th.”

The Longhorns and Sooners will get underway Friday at 7:00 p.m. at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. All three games will be broadcast on Longhorn Network.