The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

April 21, 2014

OU has fallen from first to fifth place in Big 12, but still has chance to right ship

NORMAN — If it seems like the sky is falling on Oklahoma baseball, it isn’t. If it seems like the Sooners have been in this position before, well, that one is true.

Dropping two of three to West Virginia sank the Sooners to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in the Big 12 Conference. Over the last two weeks they’ve dropped from first to fifth in the league standings.

To make matters worse, the Sooners’ spot in the Ratings Percentage Index is not good. As of Sunday night, they were at No. 90. Anywhere outside of the top 50 makes an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament virtually unobtainable.

The Sooners might have an RPI problem. Lucky for them, the Big 12 does not. Texas (No. 9), Texas Tech (No. 13), TCU (No. 20), West Virginia (No. 33), Oklahoma State (No. 55), Kansas (No. 58) and Kansas State (No. 59) are all in the top 60.

The good news for the Sooners is that it still has series left with the Red Raiders (Friday-Sunday), TCU (May 9-11) and Oklahoma State (May 15-17). All of them are away from L. Dale Mitchell Park.

There’s even a quality non-conference game with No. 33 Dallas Baptist (April 29 at home and May 13 away) still to go.

The Sooners can still make up ground. Even after dropping six of their last seven conference games, they’re still in fifth place. They actually moved up in the standings this weekend.

OU was in very similar spots the previous two seasons. Late-season runs righted the ship.

Wins are the only thing that can get OU back on course. The Sooners host Texas-Arlington at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. They need to win. OU has several issues preventing that right now; all of them track back inconsistency on the mound, in the field and at the plate.

OU coach Pete Hughes doesn’t frequently push the panic button. However, he knows his team is at a critical point.

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