Going into this series, I thought a sweep was a given against an average Oral Roberts team. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts took advantage of the opportunities we gave them to win the first game of the series. The Red Raiders bounced back with a win yesterday in the series finale. Here are my 3 takeaways from the series.
#1) 1 Bad Inning: Not sure how much stock I put into the series split with Oral Roberts, considering it was really 1 bad inning that led to their Oral Roberts' win. The 6th inning saw the Golden Eagles plate 5 runs, which was the difference in the opening game of the series. While most of it was pitching, an error by Davis at third base allowed an unearned run to score later in the inning. That run may have made the difference in game. The Red Raiders are currently an average fielding team (#103 out of #295 nationally). I think we would all feel a little bit better going into Big 12 play if we were a little sharper in the field.
#2) A Walk In the Park: Another scary trend is the number of walks allowed. We rank #142 nationally in walks allowed. Walks were a reason the 6th inning turned ugly in game one. The first walk of the inning loaded the bases and the very next batter worked a walk as well, which led the last run of the inning being plated. Free passes are like free throws in basketball to me. They are opportunities to manufacture runs/points easier. This is another area I would like to see us clean up.
#3) Grittiness: The stats will always tell a story, but not the whole story. When the first game of the series went into extra innings, I felt good about it. I thought the game was ours. I was surprised we lost. The staple of Tech baseball teams under the guidance of Coach Tadlock is their grittiness. They find ways to win games. Whether it is a clutch hit, forcing a double play or getting the key strikeout to shutdown an opponent's rally, it always seems like Tadlock pushes the right button. That is my favorite thing about our baseball team and something you can't find in a stat sheet.
Now we head to conference play, starting with a 3-game series on the road in Norman, Oklahoma that kicks off on Friday at 6pm.