Oklahoma baseball: Takeaways from an early Bedlam knockout by Oklahoma State

Thursday’s series-opening contest against Oklahoma State was not a pretty look for Oklahoma baseball. What’s worse, it was almost a repeat of what they had experienced in an earlier game this season with the Sooners’ in-state rivals.

The one big difference between the earlier Bedlam matchup this season and the game on Thursday night was the venue. Oklahoma State won the earlier game, doubling up on OU in an 18-9 runaway in a midweek, nonconference tilt played in Stillwater. Game 1 of the current series on Thursday night was in Norman, and again the Oklahoma State offense teed off on Sooner pitching, scoring early and often.

The Cowboys scored once in the first inning, twice more in the second, and then tacked on four runs on a grand slam home run in the third and four more in the fourth to put the game away before midway through. OSU led 11-1 through four innings and cruised to a 13-2 victory from there.

The game on Thursday was strikingly similar to the way the game with Oklahoma State started on April 18. The Cowboys also exploded on OU out of the gate in the earlier encounter, scoring five times in the opening inning and following that with three more runs in the second. Both times, the Sooners have dug an early hole that was difficult to recover from.

OU (29-23, 10-12) has now lost six of its last 10 games against Oklahoma State. This makes the final two games of the series even more important for the Sooners’ chances to make the NCAA postseason. Oklahoma really needs to win both games against OSU, ranked No. 16 in the latest Division I baseball RPI rankings, to keep its postseason hopes alive.

Game 2 in the series is Friday night at 6:30 p.m. CT at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Key takeaways from Game 1 of the 2023 Bedlam series with Oklahoma State

  • Six Oklahoma pitchers appeared in the 13-2 Oklahoma State win on Thursday. The Sooners collectively gave up 13 runs on just 10 hits, aided by nine walks, one wild pitch and 5 hit batters.
  • Left-handed graduate transfer Braxton Douthit started the game for OU on Thursday and worked 3.0 innings, giving up 10 runs (8 earned) on five hits, with four strikeouts, four walks, but also three hit batters. Douthit was charged with the loss, dropping his record to 4-5.
  • Three OU hitters — Dakota Harris, Kendall Pettis and Easton Carmichael — collected two hits apiece.
  • Oklahoma outhit Oklahoma State 12 to 10, but also left 14 baserunners stranded.
  • Sooner head coach Skip Johnson in his postgame comments:

“Credit to them, they made great pitches and didn’t give free passes. That’s the separator                  in the game. You lose the momentum in the game when you give free passes and don’t play          defense.

“Tomorrow it’s zero to zero. That’s the unique opportunity of the game. You get to wake up                tomorrow and it’s a new opportunity.”