The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 3, 2014

Sooners believe offense will turn back around

NORMAN — Oklahoma shortstop Hector Lorenzana said it best following Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to Oklahoma State.

“Baseball is a game of failure,” he said. “You fail seven out of 10 times and they put you in the Hall of Fame.”

The Sooners (20-10, 4-2 Big 12) are dealing with those failures — especially at the plate — at a pretty high rate. They had three hits Tuesday night against the Cowboys. Over the last six games, the Sooners are batting just .184, which is 105 points below their season average.

You can pin the offensive slump on several things. A lack of timely hits and lack of base runners are the most obvious.

OU has only scored eight runs in the last six games. During that span, only with a two-run ninth inning in last Sunday’s loss at Kansas has OU put up multiple runs in an inning. 

It’s hard to create any separation without at least an occasional big inning.

But OU is not panicking because the hits haven’t dropped in the last six games. The reason is what the Sooners did in the six games prior to the offensive slump, beginning with a 5-0 loss to Kansas State on March 23. In the six games prior, OU averaged 8.1 runs a game and was leading the Big 12 Conference in batting average.

OU coach Pete Hughes did lock in one issue that started on March 23 and continued Tuesday night.

“We’re hitting too many fly balls. When you’re hitting line drives and ground balls you’re more productive. We need to keep the ball out of the air,” he said.

The Sooners are not a team blessed with tremendous power. They have 15 home runs this season, but outfielder Hunter Haley has hit five of them. Stringing three and four hits together is what OU must do to have big innings.

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