The series started off great, seeing the Red Raiders down the Sooners 6-1 in the opener. However the offense spurted the next two games leaving the Red Raiders to head back to Lubbock with a 1-2 Big 12 record. Here are my 3 takeaways from the series.
1) Offensive Offense - The Red Raiders offense was inept the entire series. 17 hits, a .178 average and 10 runs over the course of 3 games is makes me feel lucky we left Norman with one win. The offense did most of its damage the first game of the series when they scored 6 runs on 9 hits. It was all downhill from there. To the Red Raiders' credit, if OU's Hansen pitches against everyone else in the Big 12 the way he did against the Red Raiders in game 2 of the series, a lot of Big 12 offenses will have some ugly looking offensive numbers when they face him. He has all of the physical tools to pitch at the next level. The Red Raiders are going to need to put up better numbers in conference play moving forward.
2) Errors/Walks - I mentioned both of these last week in my 3 takeaways from the Oral Roberts series. Sure enough both of these lead to runs today in the series finale. An error in the first and a walk in the fifth led to 2 of Oklahoma's 3 runs. At this point in the season, I think the Red Raiders are what they are in the field. They have been average all season and doubt they will improve. However, you hope they can minimize the errors by not letting them cross home plate. It is hard to complain about the walked runner scoring today in a series where the pitching was pretty darn good and the offense wasn't much help. Just like the errors, the pitching has struggled with walks all season and you just hope they can minimize the damage. If the offense is struggling like it was today, you can still get a win if you shore up the defense and free passes. Without those 2 runs, the Red Raiders win today 2-1 and win the series.
3) Pitching - The pitching was solid this series. As inept as the Red Raider offense was this series, the Red Raiders outscored the Sooners over the course of the series 10-9. It kept them in the 2 games they lost but the offense just wasn't there. The pitching was Dr. Jekyll and the offense Mr. Hyde this series. I hope they get clicking together moving forward.
The Red Raiders next game will be versus New Mexico on Tuesday at 2pm. This is the only game scheduled this week before the Kansas Jayhawks head to town for a weekend series starting Friday.