When the Sooners recorded a season-high against the Horned Frogs’ ace in the series opener, a ninth-inning blunder allowed the game-winning run. Not even nine runs were enough the next night to topple the Big 12 Conference regular season champion.
Bolstered by three scoreless innings from Sooners reliever Adam Choplick, the Oklahoma pitching staff finally showed up in the series finale Saturday afternoon.So did TCU’s.
Oklahoma sent just five more batters to the plate than the minimum in a 4-2 defeat – concluding a sweep in the final series of the regular season.
“I’m not taking anything away from this,” Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes said after his team’s first series sweep defeat of the season. “We just have to get to Tulsa and get hot.”
Despite coming into the series with distant hopes of a Big 12 regular season title, Oklahoma (32-25, 13-11) will begin play in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday likely needing a championship to make the NCAA Tournament.
A series that could have resulted in a title instead left Oklahoma hoping to gain some momentum.
“We played well enough to lose,” Hughes said. “We have to put it together. We have to put it together this week in all phases of the game.”
There were positives all series for Oklahoma. Choplick’s three-inning standout gave the mid-week starter confidence, and going 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position and outhitting the Horned Frogs (43-9, 18-5) in Game 1 should have been enough for a win.
Anthony Hermelyn put up great numbers all series. His two-run home run Saturday produced his seventh and eighth RBI of the series. He batted .500 during the three-game stretch.
The weekend – and the regular season – still ended with three-straight losses, though.
“At the end of the day, it’s still a loss, and you know it,” Hermelyn said. “It’s hard to build momentum on a loss. We were tough, and we were resilient. A couple breaks didn’t go our way. You just have to try and stay positive.”