OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma needed pitching to keep it afloat in the Big 12 tournament. Instead, it had the Sooners scurrying for the life rafts by the middle of Wednesday’s 13-4 loss to Oklahoma State at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The loss dropped the Sooners to 28-28 and one setback away from a season-ending loss.
Another performance like Wednesday’s should do the trick. Five days after closing the regular season with an 8-1 victory over OSU in Tulsa, the Sooners suffered through one of their worst.
It didn’t start out that way.
OU grabbed a three-run lead in the top of the first inning. The Sooners got RBI singles from Sheldon Neuse, Anthony Hermelyn and Hunter Haley.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to jump out and set the tone and get momentum in our dugout,” OU coach Pete Hughes said.
It didn’t last.
Starting pitcher Jake Elliott, who’d given up just one run over his last two appearances, struggled even to get an out. He finally got one when OSU’s Tim Arakawa ripped a rocket to Sooner second baseman Kolbey Carpenter. Seeing that, along with the three hits, a walk and a hit batter before Arakawa’s liner, was enough for OU to make a change.
It was a familiar nightmare for OU. An awful start means dipping into the bullpen early.
Elliott was charged with two runs on three hits. Jeffrey Curran got the last two outs in the first inning and the Cowboys left the bases loaded.
“The key point in the entire game was the bottom of the first when Oklahoma State answered and took away the momentum we had gathered in the top half,” Hughes said. “Against a good team like that, you better grab momentum and run with it. We didn’t do it.”