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OU Baseball Drops Two Out West

By Dave Myrick

The Oklahoma Sooners got bit by Las Vegas, but not in the way one would assume this past weekend. The Vegas sky and winds played a little chaos of its own with fly balls all tournament long as Oklahoma would lose a couple to Pitt and Ohio State respectively, about as different as you can, both equally painful.

Friday saw OU jump out fast to a 3-0 lead as Easton Carmichael doubled in Bryce Madron to get the party started for the Sooners in the top of the first. Anthony Mackenzie would barrel up a single through the middle of the Pitt defense to bring home Madron and Carmichael to stake starter Braden Davis to a 3-0 lead as he took the bump for his third start of the season. Pitt, however would answer immediately in the bottom half of the first, as clean-up hitter C.J. Funk blasted a double to the right-center field gap to bring across The Panthers first run of the day. An error by Freshman Jaxon Willits extended the inning, and scored two more for Pitt to tie the game in the first at 3 a piece. OU would again jump out to a 3 run lead in the second, as Bryce Madron stayed scorching at the plate, tripling in John Spikerman who had reached on a single to lead off the second. Carmichael would rope another double to bring home Madron, and Michael Snyder would follow that up with a single plating Carmichael and Madron, making it 6-3 Sooners headed to the third. And thats where things would get off the rails a bit for the OU pitching staff, as Pitt would bat around and plate 6 runs. The third also saw the end of the afternoon for Davis, as he finished the day lasting two innings, allowing 5 hits, 7 runs, walking 4 and striking out 4. All seven runs were earned as Davis took his first loss of the season. Things would go from bad to worse for OU’s staff as a whole on the day, as they would cycle through 8 different pitchers, allow 12 walks, commit 4 errors as a team and had a game to forget. Pitt would bat around again in the 5th scoring 7 more runs to make it an even 10 run lead at 17-7 and effectively end the game. Technicality called for another 2 innings to be played, and the game was called in the 7th with Pitt run-ruling Oklahoma 19-9 after the winning run was walked in from 3rd with the bases loaded.

Oklahoma head baseball coach Skip Johnson

Saturday, all contests on the day were called for high winds. As someone familiar with Vegas, The La Madre mountains and Hayford Peak make quite the wind tunnel and did so all weekend long, so OU’s tilt with the Cal Golden Bears was outright cancelled, no make up game will be scheduled or played due to this being a tournament format.

Sunday saw Oklahoma return to action against The Ohio State Buckeyes. As OU would return to form on the mound but unfortunately the bats that had been red hot the past week and a half, cooled off only managing 5 hits on the day and 3 runs (two of which courtesy of a dropped fly ball). Number two starter Brendan Girton took his usual number 2 start, only this time on a Sunday, going two innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 2 hits, striking out 3 and walking 3. Jamie Hitt and Kyson Witherspoon would combine for 6 and 2/3 innings pitched of one run ball, allowing Oklahoma to carry a 3-2 lead into the top of the 9th. Michael Snyder’s flare to left with the bases loaded and one out was dropped by the Buckeye left-fielder in the 3rd to plate 2 and give OU a 3-2 lead after left-fielder Kendall Pettis blasted a solo shot in the 2nd for all the scoring OU would have on the day. Needing three outs to win as OU began the bottom of the 9th inning, an error by 3rd basemen Michael Snyder allowed Ohio State to tie the game at 3 and Malachi Witherspoon was brought in to try and salvage at least taking the game to the 10th tied. A pressure packed situation he would enter, bases loaded, bottom of the 9th with the winning run at 3rd, was a tough ask. And he would walk in the winning run for Ohio State, and walk off OU as the losing team 4-3 on Sunday.

There was a lot of good, but a lot of bad as well as the team returns to Norman Tuesday night, the 5th of March to host The Shockers at the Dale. Defense, timely hitting and throwing strikes will probably be the main focus. There are different levels of verbiage I have and use for baseball. Scuffling, struggling, and slumping… at the moment, OU baseball is officially scuffling, on a 3 game skid.

OU returns to action Tuesday, March 5th against the WSU Shockers in Norman