Oklahoma trying to rebound during Bedlam

Oklahoma ace Levi Prater — a graduate of Byng High School — struck out six, walked five and allowed just one earned run in six innings during the Sooners’ 7-3 loss to Texas Tech Saturday in Norman. Four OU relievers combined to allow six runs over the final three frames.

NORMAN — Oklahoma licked its wounds after being swept at home for the first time in four seasons Sunday.

Texas Tech’s offense fought off OU’s deep pitching, scoring 25 runs in three days against the Sooners. After taking early leads, OU never mounted its own rallies in return.

“We’ve got to be able to come back in and regather the momentum, and we didn’t do that until, really, the last two innings,” coach Skip Johnson said Saturday.

Now, the Sooners are matched up with another dangerous offensive opponent. Oklahoma State has bashed a Big 12-best 62 home runs this season, and was dominant in last year’s Bedlam series outscoring OU 27-3.

OU and OSU’s three-game run takes place Friday through Sunday, with alternating games in Tulsa (ONEOK Field), Oklahoma City (Chicasaw Bricktown Ballpark) and Norman (L. Dale Mitchell Park).

Traditionally the Bedlam conference games have all been at neutral sites, but last spring the Oklahoma City Dodgers realized a scheduling conflict at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. OSU hosted a Bedlam conference game to accommodate the late change, and OU is getting the same treatment this year to make it even.

The change is only temporary. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are expected to share the series moving forward.

Leaders: Junior catcher Brady Lindsly hit .462 with two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored against Texas Tech. He’s leading OU with 16 RBIs and seven extra base hits in Big 12 play. 

Levi Prater turned in one of his best starts, allowing one run on three hits during six innings on Saturday.

In the polls: OU is unranked in major polls. It fell eight spots in the NCAA RPI to No 45. 

Question moving forward: Can OU’s young bullpen shake off what happened against Texas Tech? 

Texas Tech scored 17 runs during the sixth inning or beyond last week. Johnson took some blame for a missed pitch call or two, or perhaps not playing his cards right with relievers, but ultimately gave Tech credit.

He just hopes Sooner pitchers forget about it.

OU might still be a starting pitcher behind if Cade Cavalli (stress reaction) remains out, meaning freshman Ben Abram will get his third weekend start in a row.

“As young as we are in the bullpen, what you worry about is if they don’t flush it and go to the next game,” Johnson said. “I was proud of Wyatt [Olds] and [Zack] Matthews and threw strikes. They didn’t give in to the situation.”

Up next: OU meets OSU at 7 p.m. Friday at ONEOK Field in Tulsa. 

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