They fell 4-2 in Friday evening’s opener to the Samford Bulldogs, losing their second in a row after sweeping then-No. 2 Baylor and falling to 33-21 on the season.
“It’s not the end of the world,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “We gotta come out tomorrow and we gotta win. We gotta win two out of three this weekend. We knew that coming in. We knew they were a good club, and we were fortunate they had a good RPI, but on the flip side, they’re gonna be a good club if they have a good RPI.”
The Bulldogs showed why early.
Samford took the lead in the top of the first inning when first baseman Saxon Butler jacked a solo shot over the left field wall.
OU tied it in the bottom of the fourth on second baseman Jack Mayfield’s RBI double.
The Bulldogs reclaimed the lead in the fifth on a couple of singles an a 4-6 fielder’s choice.
The Sooners again tied it up, this time at two, after third baseman Garrett Carey’s double and left fielder Erik Ross’ single set the table for a sacrifice fly off the bat of right fielder Cody Reine.
But OU just never could capture the lead in those key situations, leaving 12 runners on base throughout the evening.
“Yeah, that’s extremely frustrating leaving 12 on base tonight and losing by two,” said shortstop Caleb Bushyhead, who had a pair of hits in four at bats. “That’s pretty bad. I mean, we gotta find ways to get runs across the board. I mean, that’s just all there is to it.”
Samford seized the lead for good in the sixth as center fielder Philip Ervin ripped an RBI single to make it 3-2.
Bulldogs left fielder Christiaan Durdaller’s solo homer in the ninth gave them some insurance.
Sooner starter Jordan John, who lasted six innings and only gave up two earned runs, three total, while striking out six and walking two, still suffered his sixth loss of the season.
“I need to put my team in a better position to win and I wasn’t able to do that tonight,” John said.
Samford starter Josh Martin got the win, improving to 11-1.
Center fielder Max White, along with Bushyhead, also recorded two hits for OU in the contest.
The teams will face off in game two at 6:30 p.m. Friday before the series finale at 2 p.m. Saturday.
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