Hitting Slump Sends OU Second Straight Loss

A couple of losses aren't things to worry about, but the way the No. 2 Sooners have lost their last two games has to raise some eyebrows.

OU (16-2) fell 6-2 to the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils in the first game of a two-game series in Tempe, Ariz., due to the same theme that held the Sooners to one hit in Sunday's loss: good pitching always defeats good hitting.

Arizona State's three pitchers combined to hold OU to just four hits, two of which were collected by junior designated hitter Evan Mistich, with half of them coming in the ninth inning. They also struck out 12 OU batters.

The Sooners have six hits and two runs in their last two games.

OU's only two runs came on a sacrifice fly in the fifth by junior shortstop Caleb Bushyhead and a groundout with a runner on third base in the eighth by senior left fielder Casey Johnson.

While the Sun Devil's pitchers were coasting through OU's lineup, senior pitcher Bobby Shore failed to have a good start for the second time in the span of four days.

He gave up three runs (two earned) in four innings, but his main issue was his control. Although he only walked one batter, he was falling behind batters and struggled to fight back in the count and keep his pitch count down.

Shore unraveled in the third inning by giving up three runs on two hits that let the Sun Devils get the early lead and momentum that they wouldn't relinquish.

And the bullpen didn't do much better.

Pitchers freshman Jordan John, senior Tyson Seng and senior Anthony Collazo gave up three runs in relief to allow the Sun Devils to score two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth and build up a 6-1 lead.

Although all teams go through peaks and lows, the Sooners' current low should cause some reason for concern because the bats are going cold.

OU had scored at least 10 runs in eight of its 15 games before the recent two-game skid, and not being able to manufacture runs let alone bring any in is not a good thing to start doing against a top-10 team and right before starting conference play.

John was scheduled to start Wednesday's game, but that is in question because he threw Tuesday. Even though he didn't throw many pitches, it is uncertain whether he will make that game-two start.

The final game of this short midweek series is slated for 8:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. PT, and after the series is completed the Sooners will return home against Texas A&M for their first conference series.

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