Sooners Split Series With Mizzou

The No. 7 Sooners' weekend series with the Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo., was cut short due to snow Saturday. The teams were able to play the first two games of the set in a doubleheader Friday, but the final game was cancelled.

Other than the fact that the snow prevented the final game from being played, the worst part of the storm was that the frigid conditions prevented OU's bats from warming up.

The Sooners (18-6, 2-3 Big 12) and Tigers split the doubleheader with OU winning the first game 3-1 and Missouri taking the second 2-1 in 11 innings.

The four total runs in two games marks the ninth straight game that the Sooners failed to score at least five runs after averaging more than 10 runs in their first 15 games. OU is 3-6 during the recent nine-game hitting struggle.

Missouri outhit the Sooners 18-14 – 8-6 in game one and 10-8 in game two – and three of the four runs it allowed were unearned. All three of those runs were in the first game.

This weekend marks the second straight weekend that OU recorded as many strikeouts and hits as Tiger pitchers fanned Sooner batters 14 times.

While splitting a two-game series with the team that was predicted to finish last in the Big 12 and once again being silenced at the plate is a continued cause for concern, there were a few of major upsides to this weekend, all of which being on the mound.

Senior pitchers Michael Rocha and Bobby Shore had solid outings as the starters, and sophomore Jack Mayfield held his own out of the bullpen.

Rocha lasted until the ninth inning for the second straight start but could not finish the game. He allowed one run on seven hits and struck out five batters in eight-plus innings before senior closer Ryan Duke finished the game. Duke struck out three batters in his only inning of work during the weekend and stranded the tying run on second with the bases loaded.

Shore, who made his first weekend start in two weeks after being moved to the midweek starter and the bullpen, only lasted 4 1/3 innings, but his control was better than it had been in previous outings. He allowed just one run and struck out four batters.

He was pulled because of a jam he had gotten into in the fifth and reaching a higher pitch count than he had been used to in his previous outings.

Mayfield matched Shore's 4 1/3 innings but showed signs of being the Sooners' next Jeremy Erben. He didn't allow a run and threw a personal season-high of 76 pitches.

Although the split wasn't what OU was looking for, it will have to regroup quickly.

The Sooners have scheduled a game against St. Gregory's at 4 p.m. Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park and will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for a tough midweek game against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Admission to Sunday's home game will be free.

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