That memory has stuck with the players who were around last season.
“If we come in there and sweep, they can’t dogpile — even if they win the conference,” OU center fielder Craig Aikin said. “You can’t dogpile after a loss.”
But OU hasn’t done much to prevent teams from winning over the last six weeks. It hasn’t won conference series since taking two of three from Kansas at the end of March. The Sooners have gone 3-12 in their last five conference series.
The Cowboys haven’t lost a series since dropping two of three to the Bears on March 21-23. They carry a 10-game winning streak into today’s Bedlam opener.
Hughes admitted he will manage his team with an eye on next week’s Big 12 tournament. After all, OU has to win it to extend an NCAA tournament streak that extends back to 2008. His bullpen has been taxed to the point of exhaustion due to the lack of quality starts. He can’t burn through it in Bedlam with a tournament looming in just six days.
If the standings hold, it would mean a sixth Bedlam meeting this season in the tournament’s opening round.
“We already know each other so well,” Hughes said referring to the two non-conference meetings that included the 18-inning marathon OU won, 12-9, on April 13 in Stillwater that evened the non-conference portion of Bedlam at a game apiece. “It all comes down to who is going to walk the least amount of people and who is going to make the least amount of errors and who gets the most two-out hits.”
OU cannot salvage its regular season by winning the Bedlam series. The goal of it is set itself up for the NCAA tournament and it failed at the objective.