On big diamond, Sooner embarrassment again giving way to triumph
It’s not clear if there’s something specific about the way Sooner baseball coach Skip Johnson manages his team that creates these kinds of results.
Nor is it clear if there’s something specific his teams do as a result of the precision or alchemy of their coach’s approach.
But a pattern may be emerging after what happened a year ago and what’s already happened this weekend, even as it's not quite complete.
Beginning Thursday, here’s what Oklahoma's done inside L. Dale Mitchell Park:
A 23-11 loss to Stanford.
A 2-0 victory over Stanford.
A 6-5 victory over Stanford.
The same two teams conclude their rare middle-of-the-conference-season four-game set beginning at 1 p.m. today.
A year ago, Oklahoma was plodding along well enough, ranked among the top 25’s fringe, a baker’s dozen better than .500 when it visited Wichita State only to be shocked and embarrassed 18-0.
You may remember what happened next: the Sooners won two of three at fifth-ranked Texas Tech, swept the Big 12 tournament and wound up in the best two-of-three championship series of the Men’s College World Series, finishing national runner-up.
This is a different season.
The Sooners, having turned over a great deal of their roster, in rebuild mode, were a fine 13-7 after winning 11 of 14 by sweeping a three-game series at Houston on March 12.
However, that 12-run loss to the Cardinal marked their sixth straight setback with three more contests lined up against the the nation’s seventh-ranked team.
A year ago, it was an 18-run loss followed by an historic run. Now, after scoring 11 runs only to lose by 12, they’ve bounced back with eight runs total over their next two games and won them both.
A pattern will be clear if OU can make the weekend’s turnaround also its season's turnaround.
Hey, it’s Clay. Though you get a lot of Oklahoma Columnist for free, the only way to get all of it, like this column, is to contribute the grand price of $6/month; less if you purchase a whole year.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.