He made a couple, but the biggest adjustment he had to make was learning to pitch after long breaks. The Sooners tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning, two more in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
Haley kicked the rout into high gear with a three-run homer — the Sooners’ third of the series — in the fourth inning.
For the second straight day, the wind was blowing out to left field at L. Dale Mitchell Park and the Sooners took advantage.
“Perk of playing here on some days. You get a good wind and it’ll go out,” Haley said.
In every sense, OU resembled the team Hughes envisioned for this season. The Sooners pitched well and slugged their way to an easy win. The nervousness that surrounded the season-opening loss on Friday dissipated with Saturday’s 8-2 victory over the Pirates on Saturday.
By Sunday, the Sooners were a care-free bunch.
“They played to win the last two days. Just look at how we ran the bases. Guys were going to first to third and forcing pressure on the defense. That’s playing to win and not being tentative,” Hughes said. “It was, completely, two different ball clubs from the one we coached on Friday to the one we coached yesterday and today.”
Just in time for the Sooners start building some early-season momentum. They return to L. Dale Mitchell Park at 3 p.m. Tuesday for the start of a two-game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Next Friday, OU heads to Orlando, Fla., where it will face the Citadel, Central Florida and Ohio State over the weekend.
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