NORMAN — Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway gathered his players Saturday morning, asked if they knew the significance of what happened the night before and silently waited for an answer.
When none of his players provided one, Golloway revealed the bad news: For the first time all season, Oklahoma wasn't atop the Big 12 Conference standings.
Saturday afternoon's 14-5 rout of hapless, nonconference foe New Orleans at L. Dale Mitchell Park did nothing to remedy that — although TCU's win over Baylor allowed OU to at least temporarily reclaim Big 12 supremacy — but OU continued to build momentum at the plate after a rough stretch of games with low offensive output.
Oklahoma (30-10 overall, 8-4 Big 12) can complete a three-game sweep of New Orleans (6-35) when the teams meet again at 1 p.m.
“I think our guys are playing with confidence right now,” Golloway said. “The conference can kind of steal that from you at times, so maybe the bye week is coming at the right time for us to try to get a little bit of confidence back. We haven't been able to score many runs, that's not a secret.”
Oklahoma's recent struggles at the plate have made the goal of winning its first regular-season conference title since 1995 much more difficult.
A March 30 home loss to Kansas began a difficult nine-game run, during which OU lost six contests, including Arkansas-Little Rock's doubleheader sweep Tuesday in Norman.