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OU baseball: Sooners coach Skip Johnson talks turning around OU's recent hitting issues

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Former Oklahoma quarterback and outfielder Kyler Murray is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before Saturday's baseball game at L. Dale Mitchell Park. [BRYAN TERRY/The Oklahoman]
Former Oklahoma quarterback and outfielder Kyler Murray is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before Saturday's baseball game at L. Dale Mitchell Park. [BRYAN TERRY/The Oklahoman]

NORMAN — In Oklahoma’s last four games, the Sooners are just 4 for 52 (.077) with runners in scoring position.

Before heading to Oklahoma City to watch his star pupil, Clayton Kershaw, pitch, OU coach Skip Johnson talked about his approach to turning that recent trend around as the Sooners have dropped four of their last five games after starting the season 21-4.

Oklahoma hosts TCU for a three-game series beginning Friday.

Are you trying to make sure a bad week doesn’t become a bad month?

"The biggest thing for us is trying too hard, pressing a little bit. Friday night we win 2-1, leave 13 guys on base and leave a lot of opportunities out there. The next day we go out there and really don’t get a big hit in a situation. The first time it happens and they don’t get a big hit, then they think about it their next at bat instead of going pitch to pitch. You can’t be consistent with the result of it, but you can be consistent with one pitch is a lifetime. We’ve talked about that the last two or three days."

How do you get them back to that when things aren’t going well?

"We practiced it a little bit yesterday (Wednesday) in intersquad, put a man on third base, second and third with one out and we did a pretty good job with it. Also try not to dwell on the results so much, more try to dwell on the process of it and try to be positive through it. If you’re negative through it (it won’t work). We’ve got to try to push reset and get to the next pitch and hopefully that mindset will carry over."

At least you’re getting guys on base, right?

"We’re getting that many guys on base, all we’ve got to do is get a big hit. That’s going to happen. We’ve just got to not try to make it happen, just let it happen. When you try to make it happen in this game you fail and when you fail, you start feeling sorry for yourself. All the things that’s baseball wants to do to you is make you feel sorry for yourself and make you want to quit it. I think that’s the thing that’s really unique about baseball that you can take into life — when adversity hits do you want to run from it or do you want to change your perspective. We’ve got to change our perspective a little bit."

OKLAHOMA VS. TCU

When: 6 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday*; 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: L. Dale Mitchell Park, Norman

*Kyler Murray will throw out the first pitch before Saturday’s game

Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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