The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 6, 2014

Sooners shake slump while securing sweep against Roadrunners

NORMAN — Oklahoma had two goals Saturday. The first was to win, and the second was to emerge from the offensive slump that infected it for two weeks.

Both goals were accomplished at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Sooners swept a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield with 17-4 and 4-3 victories to sweep the three-game series. The 31 hits and 21 runs they scored over the 18 innings were the icing on the cake.

“We got our bats going,” OU coach Pete Hughes said, “that’s what I’m coming out of this weekend feeling good about.”

Saturday’s performance pulled OU out of a seven-game funk where it had failed to score more than four runs in any game. That might have been how many OU scrambled together in the second game on Saturday but the 12 hits, however, gave a different feeling.

The nightcap was a lot closer to the games OU has played most of the season. It rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to secure the one-run victory.

“We play better when we’re coming from behind,” said OU shortstop Hector Lorenzana, who went 2 for 4 in both games. “When we have a chip on our shoulder, we play a lot better. Today, it was a deal where they score runs and we come back and score more.”

Fifteen of OU’s runs came in the seventh inning or later.

OU actually trailed in the second game, 3-2, heading into the eighth inning. Then an RBI single by Sheldon Neuse and sacrifice fly from Mac James gave OU the lead.

The Sooners’ reliance on late-inning offense has been possible because their bullpen has kept them within striking distance. Robert Tasin (3-2) came out of the bullpen to get the win in Game 2 with a scoreless eighth inning. Ralph Garza Jr. blanked the Roadrunners in the ninth inning to get his seventh save.

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