NORMAN — It’s astounding what one hard-hit ball that avoids a glove can due for a team’s confidence. Seeing it happen once reversed Oklahoma’s fortunes over the weekend against Cal State Bakersfield.
A team that struggled to get runners on base turned into one that scored them in bunches.
“It’s amazing that once you get to that one guy that hits a rocket, everyone just relaxes in the box,” OU coach Pete Hughes said after the Sooners claimed 17-4 and 4-3 victories over the Roadrunners on Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park to improve to 23-10 and 4-2 in the Big 12.
The 31 hits OU produced in Saturday’s doubleheader gave the impression that dam that had plugged its route to the base path and scoring runs finally crumbled.
Prior to Saturday, OU hadn’t scored more than four runs in a game since an 11-2 victory over Kansas State on March 22.
“I’m happy that our bats are back,” Hughes said. “Hopefully we can ride the momentum around for a while.”
If things have truly changed, it should be
apparent at 6 p.m. today when OU faces Oral Roberts (14-16) at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The teams met two weeks ago in Tulsa. Oral Roberts pitcher Pepe Gomez dominated that meeting, tossing a complete-game three hitter in the Golden Eagles’ 3-0 victory.
ORU hasn’t announced a starting pitcher, but Gomez has not pitched since April 2 and has ample rest to take the mound tonight.
The difference between the first meeting and today’s is the Sooners’ confidence at the plate.
Last time they faced the Golden Eagles, they were coming off a 5-0 loss to Kansas State.
This time, things are a little different.
“Baseball is a game of momentum. We have to keep it,” OU shortstop Hector Lorenzana said. “We can’t get too high or too low. We have to keep battling every day to get better.”