When the Sooners traveled to Stillwater on Tuesday night for a game against Oklahoma State they were streaking. By virtue of three-game sweeps over Missouri and Alabama State, and wins against ORU and Arkansas sprinkled in, Oklahoma had won eight consecutive games. OU was manhandled that night in Stillwater and instead of regrouping and making a stand at home they had the same miserable experience the next night when Dallas Baptist came to Norman. Suddenly the team that less than a week ago seemed to be soaring in now coming back down to earth at an alarming rate.
At the crux of the situation seems to be Oklahoma's hitting. After being held to just one run on five hits Tuesday night the Sooners scored two runs on six hits Wednesday night. The inability to string together a series of hits has doomed OU in the last two outings. The combination of Jack Mayfield, Cody Reine, Evan Mistich, Hunter Lockwood, Garrett Carey, Caleb Bushyhead and Tanner Toal are a collective 3-for-35 from the plate over the last two games. Oklahoma's offense, or lack thereof, is putting the team in a no win situation. When you can't advance the runners that you have on base then you force the pitchers to have to be near perfect.
Another issue every bit as important as hitting is the alarming number of errors committed. Through the two games OU has played this week they have tallied five errors. Four of those came against Dallas Baptist on Wednesday night costing the Sooners three runs in the fourth and one run in the ninth. When you're team cannot generate runs from the plate there's no way it can afford to give up runs to opponents by committing errors.
If you're looking for alarming trends beyond what I've already mentioned then you might also look at the fact that in both losses this week the Sooners jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and then suddenly the offense disappeared and the defense faltered.
After the losses on Tuesday and Wednesday nights Oklahoma's RPI Ranking has dropped to 55. There are 64 teams that will be invited to the NCAA Tournament and the Sooners are flirting with the danger zone of not being on the guest list. They need to see the RPI ranking drop much lower through the next four weeks. Winning is the best way to see that accomplished but confidence on all sides seems to be shaken a bit because of how this week has started.