NORMAN — Lately, something bad happening to Oklahoma isn’t a matter of if, but when. The wait didn’t last long Tuesday night in the Sooners’ 9-1 loss to Dallas Baptist at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The loss was OU’s sixth in a row, 10th in its last 12 games and displayed all the signs of a team in a free fall.
Where did OU get off track?
Tuesday, it happened in the top of the first inning. Starting pitcher Kindle Ladd induced a grounder to first base from Daniel Salters. OU first baseman Anthony Hermelyn fielded it cleanly and tossed it to Ladd who was covering the bag.
Ladd dropped the ball. The routine 1-3-1 was blown. Five pitches later, so was a scoreless inning. Austin Listi crushed Ladd’s 2-2 offering over the right-field wall.
The Sooners (25-21) never recovered.
The Patriots (29-15) have habitually been a thorn in OU’s side. Tuesday’s win was their seventh straight against OU, dating back to 2010.
But most were competitive games. This one was not.
“We came out with really good energy today. It’s just tough breaks,” OU catcher Mac James said.
Listi went 4 for 5 and Justin Wall went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Four of Dallas Baptist’s nine hits went for extra bases.
The Sooners only had three hits on the night — equaling their error total.
Dallas Baptist starting pitcher Joseph Shaw (3-2) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and only allowed one hit over six innings.
“When you’re not hitting, and the kid keeps you off balance it just sucks the life out of you and sucks out all the energy,” OU coach Pete Hughes said. “That’s what good pitching does.”
OU didn’t have that.
Ladd lasted just three innings. He wasn’t long for Tuesday’s game. He’ll be needed in the bullpen when OU returns to Big 12 play on Friday against Baylor. Ladd dropped to 3-3 after giving up four runs on four hits while walking three against one strikeout.