NORMAN — Sunny Golloway is not a patient man.
So with his Sooners scuffling, falling from the rankings and tumbling to the bottom of the Big 12 standings, Golloway wasn't about to sit back and wait and hope that they'd pull out of the free fall.
He pushed and prodded and pulled some strings, forcing a face-lift on his lineup and his rotation.
Suddenly, following a Big 12 series victory and a midweek win over Oral Roberts, maybe Oklahoma isn't so unattractive after all, warranting a second glance.
“We can't be afraid to make changes and try things,” Golloway said.
Oh, Golloway never shies from trying things.
Lineup changes. Role changes. Motivational ploys.
Golloway has tried them all.
And after the Sooners were swept at home by Texas the opening weekend of conference play, continuing a stretch of ragged play, Golloway tried them all.
An injury to center fielder Eric Ross may have set the wheels in motion, but Golloway did the rest.
First, Max White — “Our best pure athlete,” Galloway said — was shifted from first base to center field.
Freshman catcher Tyler Lockwood took over at first, clearing the way for Dylan Neal, another freshman, to step off the bench behind the plate.
“We went form being pretty good behind the plate to being really good,” Golloway said.
Sensing a need for speed in the outfield, Brian Brightwell, yet another freshman, bumped Evan Mistich from left field to designated hitter.
And it didn't stop there.
Former closer Jordan John moved into the Friday night pitching role, with unbeaten Dillon Overton sliding into the Saturday slot.
“I believe Saturday is the most important day, period,” Golloway said. “If you lose Game 1, you've got to win Game 2. And if you win Game 1, you can win the series with Game 2.”
Golloway even changed base coaches, moving Rich Hills from the first base box to third and inserting former pitcher Michael Rocha on the first-base line.
And that all happened within the span of a week.
It wasn't an immediate success, as the Sooners dropped last weekend's series opener at Texas Tech.
Enter Golloway the motivator.
“When we lost Friday, I cannot put into words what it felt like being the University of Oklahoma, being down four games in the Big 12 and not having a win,” Golloway said. “We had a gorilla on our shoulders.
“We had to fix some things. We had to make some changes. We had to really just kind of jump-start our whole selves again.”
There was an hourlong senior meeting. Golloway and his staff met for two hours. And shortstop Caleb Bushyhead led a player-only meeting.
The Sooners spun out of their funk with a win Saturday, claimed the series Sunday and carry a three-game winning streak into this weekend's home series with Kansas State.
Yet a start.
“Baseball is a better coach than I'll ever pretend to be,” said Golloway. “The game teaches us more than anything. You hear the term all the time, you manage with your gut, you make decisions with your gut.
“We're much different than we were early in the year. It's fun to go to the yard.”
Coming up for OSU and OU
Friday: at Baylor, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: at Baylor, 3 p.m.
Sunday: at Baylor, 1 p.m.
Tuesday: Wichita State, 6:30 p.m.
April 6: Kansas, 6:30 p.m.
April 7: Kansas, 2 p.m.
April 8: Kansas, 1 p.m.
Friday: Kansas State, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: Kansas State, 2 p.m.
Sunday: Kansas State, 1 p.m.
Thursday: at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m.
April 6: at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m.
April 7: at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.