OU returned home and defeated the St. Gregory’s Cavaliers 21-3 in a makeup game to improve to 19-6. The Sooners did not scored a total of 21 runs during their nine-game slump that they went 3-6.
Although St. Gregory’s is an NAIA school, the point of this game – other than completing OU’s schedule – was to focus on the fundamentals and try to get the bats going, again.
“The game’s clearly not sit back and bang it,” said head coach Sunny Golloway. “We had some reasons for wanting to play today. We needed to try to work on some things that we need to get better at fundamentally offensively.”
The Sooners pounded Cavalier pitching for 22 hits, which was more hits than they were about to gather in their two games in Columbia. OU was held to 14 hits against Missouri.
But when you’re playing an NAIA team that originally wasn’t on the schedule, any hit total that helps build the team’s confidence is a positive, said junior center fielder Chris Ellison.
“Every team goes through struggles hitting,” said Ellison, who went 3-for-5, drove in two runs and scored three more Sunday. “So – yeah – we’ll take the hits whoever we get them against. We just need to keep getting better.”
Now the Sooners turn their focus to the Arkansas Razorbacks. The two square off at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, and Sunday’s big victory was a step in the right direction in terms of giving OU’s batters some confidence at the plate.
“It was nice to get our confidence back a little bit,” said junior catcher Tyler Ogle, who plated one run on one hit.
Other than building upon the record, the Sooners’ game against Arkansas is big in terms of improving their RPI and looking better in the selection committee’s eyes at the end of the year when regional hosts and national seeds are announced. And Golloway believes his players know how important winning RPI-swinging games means.
“I think they do because they’re experienced guys in our program,” he said. “So, we’ll talk about it again when we get there about there are important RPI games. Right now it doesn’t look like a big RPI game is what I’m saying on paper – Arkansas and OU – but it will at the end of the year.”
Although Tuesday’s starting pitcher has not been officially announced yet, the two main candidates to start are redshirt freshman pitcher Jordan John and true freshman pitcher Dillon Overton.
Golloway Postgame Part I:
Check here for the rest of the weekend coverage, including more interviews and why this weekend was actually beneficial.