However, the struggle to get the first three outs is impossible to ignore.
Trying to make up that deficit affected everything the Sooners did at the plate. They had seven hits, but were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and grounded into four double plays.
“We can talk about the first inning all you want,” Hughes said. “We’ve got to score one run to win a game.”
The shutout loss was OU’s fourth of the season, all in the last 15 games.
The Sooners hoped the offensive slump was over after the 12-9 win at Oklahoma State Tuesday night. Means (5-1) put it back in place. The left-hander struck out six against one walk and only needed 88 pitches to get through eight innings.
“We came out aggressive. We had confidence going in because we scored 12 runs on Tuesday,” said OU right fielder Taylor Alspaugh, who went 2 for 3. “Nothing really fell for us tonight.”
The pressure isn’t going anywhere. The teams return to L. Dale Mitchell Park at 6 p.m. today for Game 2 of the series.
The Sooners have dropped their last four conference games and gone from tied for first to sixth in the process.
“I thought we were ready to play. I don’t know how many more win-one-for-the-Gipper speeches I have in me,” Hughes said. “These guys are old enough and we’re at the stage in the season where we have to make a run. They know that.”
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