Sooners Finish Up Season Series Against UALR

OU third baseman Garrett Buechele

NORMAN, Okla. – Does the name Calvin Drinnen ring a bell?

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It shouldn't, especially for the casual OU fan, but he's the Arkansas-Little Rock pitcher who handed the No. 10 Sooners their first loss of the season.

Drinnen threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory at L. Dale Mitchell Park, which in itself is an impressive feat considering how good of a home team OU (31-13) has been in recent years, on March 13 to end the Sooners' program-record 16-game wining streak to start the season.

Since that loss, the Sooners have gone 15-12.

So, people could blame Drinnen and the Trojans for starting the Sooners' drastic turnaround from a no-questions-about-it Omaha team to a team with internal turmoil fighting for a regional host.

That would be a fair argument for irrational fans to make, but all Drinnen did that day was throw a heck of a game and expose OU for what it was: a somewhat bad team that is filled with a bunch of entitled players.

Don't think that those are the words of a biased reporter who hasn't gotten over the Sooners' recent bout of bad play, that's far from the truth, because they have been head coach Sunny Golloway's sentiments that he's repeated to both his club and the media during the past couple months.

If anything, OU should in a sense thank Drinnen for shining a light on this team's biggest deficiency: not playing with energy and just expecting to walk out onto the diamond and win, which is something that the team seems to have figured out and has improved upon in the past week and a half after sweeping Nebraska and having a 2-2 week against top-10 opponents (TCU and Texas).

Now the Sooners have a chance to not exact revenge on the Trojans for starting the fall from the No. 2 ranking they had in the two teams' previous meeting, but rather get the opportunity to end the season series on a high note rather than the sour taste that ended the three-game set in Norman in March.

OU and Arkansas-Little Rock will meet one last time this season at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark.

The Sooners haven't announced a starting pitcher yet.

Drinnen should't be starting for the Trojans because he threw six innings against Louisiana on Sunday, but don't mark the game as an automatic victory for OU because the only Arkansas-Little Rock pitcher who was able to beat the Sooners won't be on the mound.

Despite being knocked around for 11 runs on 16 hits in the first meeting, the Trojans held OU to two runs and seven hits in the second game, so they know how to pitch against the Sooners – although they will be featuring a slightly different lineup this time around.

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