Entering the Big 12 Baseball Championship, the Oklahoma Sooners were considered to be on the outside looking in as far as NCAA Tournament projections were concerned. Both D1baseball.com and Baseball America — two publications that follow college baseball as closely as anyone — had OU as one of its first teams out, which would indicate that OU needed to take things into its own hands in Bricktown.
After falling 8-2 to Baylor on Wednesday evening, things got much worse in Thursday’s elimination game. The Sooners did get off to a promising start both on the mound and at the plate, but OU was only able to tally one run despite recording six hits in the first three innings. Innings two and three were especially promising, but each ended with OU grounding into double plays. In the fourth, TCU finally broke it open. I’m sorry, did I say “broke it open”? What I meant to say was “shellacked the Sooners in historic fashion before the game mercifully ended in a 15-3 run-rule defeat”.
TCU’s 14-run fourth inning set three different Big 12 Championship records and tied two more:
- Runs: 14 (previous record: 11, Texas vs. Missouri, 2009)
- RBIs: 14 (previous record: 10, Texas vs. Missouri, 2009)
- Hits: 11 (previous record: 9, Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State, 2001)
- At-bats: 15 (tied record set three times, most recently in 2009) (Note: for the purposes of this statistic, at-bats don’t include walks. OU actually faced 18 batters.)
- Home runs: 3 (tied record set by Oklahoma State in 1997)
- Three players had multiple hits in the inning
- TCU was .733 at the plate
- Three home runs, two triples, two doubles, four singles (yes, TCU hit for the cycle twice)
- OU threw 68 pitches
Have we digested all of that? Good. Now let’s talk about where OU goes from here.
The bad news: Barring a very generous decision by the NCAA selection committee, OU’s season appears to have come to an end.
The good news: This team truly does have some promising young talent (particularly in its pitching staff, despite what today would indicate) and will be bringing a lot of that talent back in 2020.
OU’s biggest issue was its inability to manufacture runs, something that often bubbled to the surface with runners in scoring position. The biggest offenders were younger, more inexperienced guys, so there’s hope that the issue can be improved next year. Additionally, Oklahoma signed the No. 11 recruiting class this spring (although that number is inflated by projected No. 2 overall pick Bobby Witt Jr., who will clearly not enroll at OU). In short, there’s at least some reason for optimism going forward.
#Sooners run-ruled by TCU, eliminated from Big 12 Championship.Posted by Crimson And Cream Machine on Thursday, May 23, 2019