May 6, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth that included a close play at the plate decided the Bedlam Series finale on Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma State scored the game-winning run on the play to record a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series victory.
The Cowboys (28-18 overall, 13-8 Big 12) won the opener Friday night in Tulsa, 3-0, and the Sooners evened up the series with an 8-4 victory in Oklahoma City Saturday night.
In the decisive eighth inning, Randy McCurry sent a fly ball down the right-field line with one out and the bases loaded as Cody Reine made a tough catch in foul territory that allowed Robbie Rea to tag up from third. Reine’s throw was on target but a collision at home plate jarred the ball loose from OU catcher Dylan Neal’s glove.
“It’s a tough loss for either team when you deal with the emotions that you do when it comes down to a play at the plate,” said OU Head Coach Sunny Golloway. “The ball beat him. It was a hard, tough play and the ball kicked out. That’s baseball. It was a really good throw.”
Both teams squandered scoring chances early and the Sooners came up empty on one of their best opportunities in the second with runners on second and third and zero outs on the board. After Caleb Bushyhead and Matt Oberste singled to lead off the frame, OSU starter Vince Wheeland struck out Dylan Neal and Cody Reine before retiring Garrett Carey on a ground out to third base.
“We have to at least be able to get a run there early on,” said Golloway on a critical time in the game.
Oklahoma State struck first with two runs and chased OU starter Dillon Overton in the third inning. Overton registered his shortest start of the season and was relieved by Steven Okert with two runners on and two outs.
The Sooners got out of the third inning with just two runs allowed and Okert retired the first 12 hitters he faced before giving up a single up the middle in the seventh.
Okert (5-6) lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up the run in the eighth along with three hits, a walk and four strikeouts.
“I thought both relievers did a great job,” added Golloway. “Okert did a great job of stabilizing.”
The Sooners tied the game at two runs apiece in the top of the fifth inning despite not registering a hit. Neal led off the frame with a walk and his at-bat was followed by back-to-back hit by pitches issued by OSU starter Vince Wheeland. Erik Ross and Jack Mayfield followed with sacrifice flies.
OU was only able to collect four base hits, which all came against Wheeland, including two from Oberste. Reliever Blake Barnes (5-3) did allow a hit over the final 3 1/3 innings to earn the victory. He struck out four Sooners and walked one.
Next up, the Sooners play their final Big 12 series of the year at home against No. 1 Baylor (38-8, 18-0) on May 11, 12 and 13 at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman.
“We will move forward from here and go to finals and get ready for Baylor to come to Norman,” said Golloway. “We will battle the rest of the way.”