NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma dropped the series finale on Saturday at L. Dale Mitchell Park, 7-1, against No. 5 Nebraska and suffered a 2-1 series defeat, its first at home this season. The Sooners dropped to 23-20 overall and 7-11 in Big 12 play with the loss, while Nebraska jumped to 37-9 and 12-6.
OU’s defense struggled with three errors and two wild pitches on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners did not commit an error in the first two games of the series but allowed the Huskers to score five unearned runs on Saturday. OU won the opener of the conference series, 5-1, but could not get the same run production in the final two games with Nebraska.
Johnny Dorn (7-1) made his first career start in Big 12 play count by throwing 6 2/3 innings of four-hit ball for Nebraska. Dorn allowed one unearned run, one walk and struck out one. The Huskers gave Dorn all the run support he needed with three runs in the third inning. Only two of Nebraska’s seven runs in the contest were earned.
Sooner left-hander Garrett Patterson (4-2) made his first start on the mound for OU since March 18 (vs. Arizona State) and lasted 6.1 innings, after surrendering five runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk. Patterson struck out four before giving the ball up to reliever Will Savage, who finished the game.
After Curtis Ledbetter plated Daniel Bruce in the third inning on a fielder’s choice, Patterson allowed two more runs to cross the plate on two wild pitches. Patterson settled down to retire 10 straight batters after NU’s third run, but eventually left the game in the seventh inning after Jeff Christy singled in a run and then scored on Daniel Bruce’s RBI double.
OU posted its first and only run of the contest on a Russell Raley RBI double. With Kody Kaiser on first base, Raley hit a shot to right center that put Kaiser on third but he was able to score on an errant throw by NU’s right fielder.
The Sooners had their chances in the ball game and stranded 12 runners in the contest. OU loaded the bases in the eighth inning after Raley and Eric Thornton singled and then Ryan Rohlinger was hit by a pitch. But the Nebraska bullpen handcuffed the Sooners by retiring the next three batters, two by strike out.
Raley, Rohlinger and Thornton all committed costly errors in the Sooners first loss in a series at home this season. The game also handed the Sooners just their fifth home loss in 23 games and it marked the first time that OU suffered back-to-back losses at home this season.
Daniel (2-for-4) and Andy Gerch (3-for-4) led the way for the Huskers, who outhit the Sooners, 9-8.
Raley continued to hit the ball well with a 3-for-5 day that extended his hitting streak to nine games. Thornton and Freddy Rodriguez added two hits apiece in the defeat.
It was Military Appreciation Day at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Saturday and 2,419 people were in attendance, a season high.
OU will look to rebound and conclude its current four-game home stand with a 7 p.m. game on Tuesday against Wichita State. The Sooners lost earlier in the week, 7-5, in Wichita, Kansas on Tuesday.
After next Tuesday’s home game versus the Shockers, OU will hit the road for a Big 12 conference series against Kansas State.