Baseball postseason breakdown series: day VI

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated now presents the sixth part of the seven-day series with the positives and negatives of this year.

The positives:

The Sooners snapped a 15-year drought against Texas—Before the 2013 season, one had to look all the way back to 1998 for the last time OU won a series against their Red River Rival Longhorns. But the Sooners finally got it done again, taking two of three in Austin, including a 4-2 rubber match victory. They even did so despite only scoring six runs in the series.

They reached their third Super Regional in four seasons—Winning a regional is starting to become more of the norm than an exception for OU. It swept through the Blacksburg Regional with victories over Coastal Carolina, UConn and Virginia Tech en route to setting up a trip to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers. And despite getting swept in that series, OU still made it to within a pair of victories of reaching Omaha for the second consecutive season.

OU won its first Big 12 Tournament Championship since 1997—Speaking of things it hasn't done since the 90's, OU won the conference tournament for the first time in 16 years. It did so in that by winning four straight games in Oklahoma City, including 2-0, 8-0 and 7-6 decisions over Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas State, respectively, in the format altered to pool play and a 7-2 championship win over Kansas. The Sooners played with heavy hearts for their tornado ravaged neighbors in Moore, who were hit earlier in the week.

The negatives:

Sooners finished two wins short of returning to Omaha for the second straight season—While they've reached the Super Regional round a trio of times since 2010, they've only advanced out of it once. The Sooners were truly dominated by LSU, outscored 13-1 in the short two-game series. Undoubtedly, it sent the seniors out short of their ultimate goal.

They didn't win the regular season crown—The Sooners were the unanimous favorite to take the Big 12, but they slumped down the stretch and Kansas State did instead. OU eventually finished with a 13-11 record and fourth place mark in the league after starting off 5-1. That included losses in each of its final three series to West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

OU lost four poor midweek games—Two of them were quite pathetic: a Tuesday doubleheader sweep at home by Arkansas-Little Rock. OU dropped those decisions by 5-2 and 4-3 scores. Then, Dallas Baptist knocked them off 2-0 on the road and 6-4 at L. Dale Mitchell Park. All four of these losses really plummeted OU's RPI and made it a bubble team at one point. In the end, they were the difference between a regional host and going on the road.

Stay tuned for the final version of the postseason breakdown series tomorrow.

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