SOONERS SEEKING MOUND STABILITY
Oklahoma’s late-season slump has put it in peril of possibly missing the Big 12 Tournament, although the Sooners currently maintain a two-game lead over Kansas State in the chase for the final spot.
Still, OU can’t relax, not with series against the league leaders – TCU and OSU – on deck.
The key: confidence.
“If we play well against the two top teams in the league, you go in there and get a ton of confidence going into the tournament, that's our goal from here on in,” said Sooners coach Pete Hughes. “To get hot at the right time. Might as well do it against the two top teams in the league.”
To do that, OU must be better from the mound. The Sooners rank last in the league in conference-only games with a 5.82 earned run average. And their pitchers have surrendered 201 hits in 1572/3 innings.
“Everything is predicated off the result you get off the little brown circle on your infield,” Hughes said. “Everything – confidence in your team, the start of a game. It relaxes your offense when you get a good start out there and you can go and get shutdown innings.
“(Radio announcer) Toby Rowland told me that 10 of the last 11 innings we scored we didn't have a shutdown inning to accompany that? It's tough. It's a tough way to live.”
OU’S KRITTENBRINK OUT AFTER APPENDIX BURST
Oklahoma reliever Drew Krittenbrink had been feeling ill for a few days when he showed up in the Sooners' clubhouse for Sunday's game against Baylor.
After talking to OU's team doctors, Krittenbrink was sent to the emergency room, where it was discovered his appendix had burst.
“What a move to do that right away,” Hughes said of the team doctor's decision to send Krittenbrink to the hospital. “Apparently it had been burst for 24 hours or so.”
Krittenbrink remains hospitalized and is likely to be out for three weeks or so. The illness forced him to miss Sunday's Senior Day activities.
Krittenbrink has a 3.94 ERA in 292/3 innings.