Sooners drop series finale to Tech

NORMAN, Okla. — Looking to create even the smallest bit of separation in the Big 12 race, the Sooners fell short of a three-game sweep of the Texas Tech Red Raiders Sunday afternoon, suffering an 8-1 defeat at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Looking to create even the smallest bit of separation in the Big 12 race, the Sooners fell short of a three-game sweep of the Texas Tech Red Raiders Sunday afternoon, suffering an 8-1 defeat at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Because of that, they fell back into a first place tie with Baylor atop the standings, though they hold the spot narrowly by percentage points.

Opposite of the past two days, the Sooners didn't get good starting pitching and couldn't string together any hits for run support.

And also opposite of the last two days, the Red Raiders did.

The visitors racked up their eight runs on 13 hits off Sooner pitching, including tagging OU starter Ethan Carnes for four earned in 4 1/3 innings on six hits and a walk.

Texas Tech's Dominic Moreno, meanwhile, limited any kind of damage and tossed a fairly solid five innings with no earned runs and just one total on five hits and four walks.

The Red Raiders took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as center fielder Devon Conley raced home on a double play fly out.

OU tied it up with its lone run in the bottom of the third when center fielder Craig Aikin walked, raced to third on a two-base error and scored courtesy of a wild pitch.

From that point on, Tech poured it on.

It managed two each in the fourth and fifth, including a two-run single by left fielder Todd Ritchie and a pair of bases loaded walks.

The knockout punch came in the seventh when Conley nubbed a Texas league double just inside the right field line, scoring a pair of runs and a third thanks to a throwing error.

Tech added one more for good measure in the ninth, as Conley raced home on a wild pitch.

OU actually mounted its most impressive offensive output of the day in the ninth, with left fielder Max White notching a sacrifice fly and catcher Anthony Hermelyn placing an RBI single into left, but it still wasn't near enough.

Seven Red Raiders finished with two hits; three did so for the Sooners, including Hermelyn, designated hitter Kolbey Carpenter and shortstop Jack Mayfield, and Aikin walked a pair of times while also scoring that run.

So, instead of having a full game lead on Baylor and sitting two up on Kansas State and West Virginia, falls back into a tie with the Bears and remains one up on the other two with three series left.

Two of those come against teams vying for the top spot, the first of which is West Virginia in Charleston, W.V., next weekend.

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