OU drops into three-way tie for first

If the Sooners were trying to host a regional, they aren't doing themselves any favors.

If the Sooners were trying to host a regional, they aren't doing themselves any favors.

In fact, they're not doing themselves any favors to even win the conference after falling 9-6 to West Virginia in the rubber match of a three-game set in Charleston, W.V.

With that, the Sooners have fallen into a three-way tie for first place in the league with their 11-7 record heading into the final two weeks of the conference slate.

West Virginia and Kansas State—the Sooners still travel to Manhattan—greet them there with just six Big 12 games remaining for each squad.

It stands that way because OU dropped the final two games of this weekend's series after winning the opener 4-3 in extras.

West Virginia rattled off a 9-3 Saturday win to even the series, then equaled their run total in Sunday's 9-6 victory to tighten things at the top.

OU's Sunday pitching remained subpar as it has most of the conference series—the Sooners are now just 2-4 in game threes since the start of Big 12 play.

Starter Billy Waltrip was rocked for six runs, though just two were earned, on five hits and four walks.

One of the few bright spots in the contest took place in the top of the first when shortstop Jack Mayfield ripped a two-run double down the left field line to put OU up 2-0.

But the Mountaineers plated six unanswered runs until OU finally broke through again in the eighth inning.

Then, it was Mayfield and first baseman Matt Oberste's RBI singles and second baseman Hector Lorenzana's two-RBI single that closed the gap to 8-6.

However, the Sooners could get no closer than that and suffered what could be a devastating loss to both their regular season championship and regional host hopes.

Head coach Sunny Golloway said with 15 games to go that he'd set the bar number of wins for his club at 10, but since that point OU has gone just 3-4.

With one of those games canceled, the Sooners would have to go perfect from this point on in the regular season to reach that total and could only drop one contest to finish with 40 triumphs prior to the conference tournament.

OU's RPI figures to fall back into the 40s after rising as high as 34 after the game one victory, so there's certainly work to do.

The Sooners will have a few days to get it all corrected before facing off in Bedlam against Oklahoma State starting at 7 p.m. CT Friday in Tulsa.

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