Oklahoma Baseball: Sooner Bats Explode, Ending Eight-Game Road Losing Skid


Winning is never sweeter than when you haven’t done so in a while, and that’s why the Oklahoma baseball win in the final game of the series at Kansas on Sunday was such a big deal.

The series finale on Sunday didn’t start off very promising for the Sooners, with the Jayhawks, who swept a doubleheader on Saturday, jumping out to a 2-0 in the very first inning.

Oklahoma came back in the top of the third with three runs of its own on a pair of home runs by juniors Sheldon Neuse and Cody Thomas, only to give the lead right back on a two-run Kansas response in the bottom half of the inning.

The Sooner bats exploded for 10 runs on seven hits in the next two innings to put the game out of reach, and then capped it off with four more in the top of the seventh to end the game on the mercy rule and get out of town with a feel-good 17-6 rout of the host Jayhawks.

The win on the road was the first by Oklahoma in nine games away from home in Big 12 play this season. It also snapped a three-game losing streak.

This has not been a good season by traditional OU baseball standards. After winning five of seven over a 10-day period in early April, the Sooners went winless in four consecutive outings and have lost seven of their last 10 games.

Oklahoma is back home for four games this week: a nonconference midweek game with Oral Roberts followed by the final home stand of the season, with last-place Kansas State coming to town for a three-game weekend series.

With only five conference games remaining in the 2016 regular season, the Sooners are in danger of finishing the conference season with a sub-.500 record for just the second time in the past seven seasons.

Here are the main takeaways from the series loss to Kansas over the weekend:

  • Saturday’s doubleheader was Oklahoma’s second this season in the Big 12 and fifth overall. the Sooners are 3-7 in those five twin bills.
  • The Sooners’ 17 runs in Sunday’s series finale was their highest run output in a game this season.
  • Shortstop and sometimes pitcher Sheldon Neuse hit three home runs in the series, giving him a team-high nine for the season and 22 for his college career.
  • Freshman Steele Walker, who played left field in all three game against Kansas, had three hits in the opening game of the Saturday doubleheader. That was his 10th multi-hit game of the season and the third time he has had three hits in a game in 2016.
  • Walker was 5 for 11 in the Kansas series, and over the past 15 games he his hitting .400 (22 for 55).
  • Second baseman Jack Flansburg was 4 for 4 at the plate on Sunday and went 6 for 12 for the series.
  • Freshman right-handed starter Jake Irvin won his third game of the season on Sunday.
  • Fourteen of Oklahoma’s 21 wins this season have been recorded by freshman pitchers.