The Oklahoma Sooners fall once again to the California Baptist Lancers this afternoon 6-3, moving to (1-2) on the year. All series long, the Sooners fell behind to start the game as CBU got on the board first in all 3 games.
It is however not time for Sooner Nation to panic over this opening weekend series. If you remember opening weekend just one year ago, you remember that the Sooners started off slow last year, with a few early season losses, including a (0-3) weekend at the Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic. You may think that since it’s a series loss to CBU it must be bad for the Sooners, and that the Lancers are not a good ball team. However, that is far from the truth. Cal Baptist has only had 1 losing season in my 18 years of life, that being in 2005 as they went 24-25-1, narrowly below .500. Yes, an opening weekend series loss is far from ideal, however, it is not time to hit the panic button just yet.
The Good News
Sooners’ RF and Cowley CC transfer Bryce Madron hit what is hopefully the first of many bombs this afternoon. The reigning JUCO player of the year batted .420/.531/.800, hitting 25 HR with 72 RBIs and stealing 25 bags. No those numbers are not typos or MLB the Show video game numbers. They are 100% real, and Madron looks to be the real deal for the Sooners.
2B Jackson Nicklaus put the Sooners in a good position to win today, smoking one to the wall, nearly for a 2-run HR, however, it didn’t make it over the wall, and following a dropped ball, Nicklaus made it all the way to third base for a triple. Then, SS Dakota Harris singled to score Nicklaus tying it up at 3-3 in the 6th inning. Nicklaus also flashed the leather in the field for the Sooners, making an impressive stop and throw in the 8th to try and limit the damage from CBU.
The Bad News
As I said in yesterday’s game recap, the Sooners can not have double digits in the runners left on base category in the box score. As you can imagine, looking at today’s final score, the Sooners left 10 runners on base this afternoon. 6 of those runners came in back-to-back bases-loaded innings in the 6th and 7th innings. Once again, going forward this cannot happen if the Sooners are going to have success this season.
Braxton Douthit made his first start for the Sooners today, not great but certainly not awful for the Sooners as he went 4 innings with 3 strikeouts allowing 3 earned runs. Douthit did not receive the loss today as the Sooners were able to tie it up in the 6th. LHP Carter Campbell was once again flawless for the Sooners, tossing 3 innings of scoreless baseball only allowing 2 hits while striking out 2 as well on 25 pitches. RHP Aaron Calhoun had a performance to forget about today, as he gave up a 3-run home run in the 8th. Calhoun moves to (0-1) on the year, with 1 save.
RHP and fellow Cowley transfer Aaron Webber got the benches cleared following his 9th-inning strikeout. Whatever was said following the strikeout certainly upset the CBU dugout as there was another altercation following the CBU win, this time between OU and CBU coaches
The Sooners are back in action tomorrow afternoon at @3 PM CT against a fellow (1-2) opponent in the Air Force Academy. Air Force won this afternoon vs Army 9-3. Following the 1 game stand, the Sooners head to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas to take on the (2-1) Abilene Christian University Wildcats. The Sooners will be back at L. Dale Mitchell on Friday for a 3-game series vs Rider University. Rider is (3-1) on the year and won this afternoon 17-2 vs Gardner-Webb University.
Cover photo courtesy of @OU_Baseball on Twitter.