OKLAHOMA CITY -- Ryan Rohlinger swiped second to give Russell Raley a chance to be the hero, and Raley wasted no time lifting Oklahoma to a much-needed win.
One pitch after Rohlinger stole second, Raley pulled a single to right field and Rohlinger slid home as Corey Brown's throw skipped in from right field to give the Sooners a 5-4 win Sunday against Oklahoma State and a victory in the Bedlam series. After scoring the winning run, Rohlinger popped up and pumped his right fist in the air before slapping high-fives with his teammates.
"This is one of the best things to happen to me on the baseball field," Raley said.
Box Score - Oklahoma 5, Oklahoma State 4 (11)
Brown had sent the game to extra innings with an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning but had also helped the Sooners (28-22, 11-13 Big 12) get ahead in the first place.
After Kevin Smith had homered with one out in the eighth to tie the game at 3, Chuckie Caufield singled and headed toward third on Kody Kaiser's single to right. Brown attempted to throw Caufield out at third, but his throw bounded into foul territory down the left-field line.
|See how the Sooners stack up against OSU in the Bedlam Series presented by the Bank of Oklahoma and Your Oklahoma Ford Dealers!|
Caufield rounded third and collided with Oklahoma State reliever Scott Richmond (3-5) on his way to the plate to score the go-ahead run.
Will Savage (8-3) gave up only one run over the final four innings for Oklahoma and struck out Justin Colbert looking on a knee-buckling breaking ball to end the game. Richmond gave up eight hits and two runs in 6 2-3 innings of relief for Oklahoma State.
With the win, Oklahoma tied Oklahoma State for fifth place in the Big 12 and moved closer to clinching a spot in the conference tournament. The top eight teams make the tournament, and both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have a two-game lead on Kansas and Texas Tech, who share seventh place.
"This is big for us because we're fighting to stay alive in the Big 12 tournament," Rohlinger said. "That's where we're trying to get to right now and then we'll move from there."
The Cowboys (32-20, 11-13) trailed 2-0 early but rallied to tie it in the fifth inning. Adam Carr broke out of an 0-for-15 slump with a double to right-center field, was sacrificed to third and scored on a grounder by Chris Gutierrez. After Oklahoma starter Brad Burns hit Colbert with a pitch and walked Keanon Simon, Brown singled to left to score Colbert from second base.
Simon gave the Cowboys a brief lead by squeezing home Gutierrez in the bottom of the seventh. Simon's bunt hopped three times then rolled in the grass and Rohlinger, Oklahoma's third baseman, could only throw to first as Gutierrez crossed the plate.
The Cowboys, who led the Big 12 with 78 home runs and a .313 average heading into the series, didn't hit a home run and failed to overpower an Oklahoma team that had been struggling offensively.
"We've got to be able to relax in certain at-bats in certain situations to give ourselves a chance," Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson said.
Oklahoma moved to 5-2 under interim coach Sunny Golloway, who took over after Larry Cochell resigned.
"He's been talking to us a lot about having a lot of confidence and I think it's starting to rub off on a lot of us," Raley said. "Whatever the problems were before, I think they're starting to pass now."
Oklahoma took an early 1-0 lead when Freddy Rodriguez reached on a two-out bloop single to center field and scored on Rohlinger's double to the left-center field gap. The Sooners manufactured another run in the fourth inning as Aaron Ivey beat out his second infield single of the game, moved to second on Matt Bose's bloop single, stole third and scored on Jackson Williams' groundout.
After a sellout crowd of 13,066 on Saturday, attendance on Sunday was 9,494. For the three-game series, attendance was 33,669. ... Oklahoma State holds a 137-135 edge in the series, which dates back to 1935.