OKLAHOMA CITY — The last time Oklahoma faced Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Heaney, it was a mismatch — and that might be an understatement.

The 3-0 loss to the Cowboys on May 4, in Tulsa, only featured three hits by the Sooners. In nine innings, only five batters reached base. There are a lot of words to describe how excellent Heaney was that night and all are synonyms for absolute dominance.

“Heaney is a good pitcher,” OU right fielder Cody Reine said. “He’s a great pitcher.”

Heaney is the obstacle the Sooners (35-21) must overcome when they face the Cowboys (32-23) at 9 a.m. today in the first round of the Big 12 tournament at Bricktown Ballpark.

It’s a chore. Heaney (8-1, 1.63 ERA) has been the Big 12’s best pitcher this season. The junior, who is projected to be a first-round pick in next month’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft, was named the conference’s pitcher of the year on Tuesday. It was an easy choice give that Heaney leads the conference in strikeouts (132), innings pitched (110 1/3), complete games (5) and shutouts (3).

So, what does OU have to do to change its outcome?

Familiarity helps.

“Seeing a guy for the second time makes it easier,” Sooner center fielder Max White said. “You’ve seen his fastball. You’ve seen his deception.”

Deception was a major factor in Heaney’s mastery of OU in the Bedlam Series. After the game, Sooner coach Sunny Golloway took some heat for saying only half of the 74 strikes Heaney threw that night were strikes. It wasn’t an insult. Really talented pitchers have a knack for getting hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone. Heaney had it going that night.

“I just kept them off balance,” Heaney said.

“He comes after hitters. He’s really deceptive and will try to get you to swing at pitches out of the zone,” OU second baseman Jack Mayfield said.

Those struggles started in the third inning and snowballed throughout the game. The Sooners didn’t have a hit or a baserunner in the final five frames.

The game plan that night was to try to wear Heaney down and get to him in the later innings. It didn’t work.

Golloway said that won’t be the case today.

“Andrew is the kind of guy whom I think you need to go up hunting early in the count. I think later in the count — I think hitters think it’s to their advantage, but with Heaney I think it’s a disadvantage,” the OU coach said. “I think you need to try to get to him early and not worry about the pitch count, overall. You need to worry about getting squared up and getting as many balls in play as you can.”

Perhaps, it will work out differently than last time. The Sooners have had success against Heaney in prior seasons. They rocked him for eight hits and three runs over 2 2/3 innings in 2011.

But Heaney has improved and showed it earlier this month. It’s a difficult assignment for the Sooners, who are hitting just .269 as a team.

There have been signs of OU finding its offensive strides.

It rides into the postseason after scoring a season-high 13 runs and pounding out a season-high 15 hits last Saturday against Samford. The Sooners were aggressive at the plate when the regular season ended.

They’ll try to bring that approach to Bricktown Ballpark today against a pitcher who chewed them up less than four weeks ago.

“He threw a shutout against us last time. We’re not going to sit back and wait for him to get deep into the count,” Golloway said. “We’re gonna go after him early.”

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