Sooner Baseball Officially Slumping - OU Drops Doubleheader To Arkansas-Little Rock

Kyle Laferriere-US PRESSWIRE

There's no denying it now. The Oklahoma Sooners are officially slumping. I know its just a three-game slide but you have to look at all of the factors combined and it completely equates to a mid-season slump. What factors are we talking about, you ask? Well...let's jump into that topic.

Consider The Opponent - Before coming to Norman for Tuesday's games the Trojans had a 2-7 road record. That means that they won as many games on the road in one afternoon as they had all year long. With all due respect, Arkansas-Little Rock isn't the type of team that comes into Norman and beats OU when everything is clicking for the Sooners. To give a little more perspective into how shocking of a loss this is. The Trojans are in next to last place in the Sun Belt Conference. Yup, its that bad!

Pitching Is Disappearing - I'd still take Dillon Overton and Jonathan Gray over any pitchers in the country, much less the Big 12. But after that, who would you trust from the mound with the game on the line? Adam Choplick used to be that guy, as did Jacob Evans, Corey Copping and Jake Fisher. They are all struggling, and struggling mightily. In the first five batters he faced on Tuesday night, Choplick gave up three hits, walked another and committed two errors. He hasn't made it out of the first inning in his last two starts.

Tuesday's Big 12 Baseball Scores

Oklahoma

2

Arkansas-Little Rock

5

Norman, Okla.

West Virginia

13

Morehead State

5

Mountaineer Diamond Classic; Charleston, W. Va.

Texas

6

Texas Pan American

1

Austin, Texas

Texas State

3

Baylor

0

San Marcos, Texas

Missouri State

4

Oklahoma State

6

Springfield, Mo.

Wichita State

1

Kansas State

4

Wichita, Kan.

Creighton

12

Kansas

4

Omaha, Neb.

Rice

11

Texas Tech

2

Houston, Texas

UT Arlington

4

TCU

11

Arlington, Texas

Oklahoma

3

Arkansas-Little Rock

4

Norman, Okla.

Clutch Hitting Has Disappeared - Honestly we expected Matt Oberste's batting percentage to drop. You just can't hover in the .470's for an entire season. However, behind him and Max White, no one else on the team is batting above .300 on the season. The Sooners were shutout in Austin and held to one run in Waco when dropping games to Texas and Baylor. Those are Big 12 opponents though and its not really that unexpected.

What is unexpected is that a team with a 5-10 record in the Sun Belt Conference would hold the Sooners to five runs off thirteen hits through eighteen innings of baseball.

The Pattern Shows A Slide - For the first time this season Oklahoma has lost three consecutive games. Beyond that, they've lost five of their last seven which is a far cry from the ten and thirteen game winning streaks they put together earlier in the year.

Don't Panic - The baseball season is a long one and OU has plenty of time to correct the things that are going wrong. We're talking about a sport that is practically defined by streaks and momentum. Oklahoma just needs to find a way to swing things back into their favor. Its not as difficult as it may appear either, and in my opinion it all starts with hitting. Yeah, yeah I know. Pitching this and pitching that, but here's the deal. A pitcher who has run support is under a lot less pressure than one who doesn't. Overton and Gray are seasoned veterans and can take the pressure and perform admirably under it. Beyond them is youth and inexperience. Those guys are not throwing as loose as the two aces but are throwing tight because of the pressure of not having runs to support them.

One thing always leads to another in baseball. Hitting slumps leads to tight pitching which in turn leads to the entire infield pressing themselves, thus creating more errors. Start hitting again and it will change this team.

The Silver Lining - This is the worst stretch of the season for Oklahoma since losing three out of four games March 5-10. What happened after that? The Sooners corrected some things and railed off thirteen consecutive wins.

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