STILLWATER, Okla. – The game-winning rally finally came in the top of the 18th, 10 minutes past midnight, when sophomore second baseman Kolbey Carpenter (Waco, Texas) ripped a double to left that scored the go-ahead run in a 12-9 win for the University of Oklahoma baseball team over No. 13 Oklahoma State. The game, which started Tuesday evening and ran into Wednesday morning, lasted five hours and 52 minutes. The Sooners improved to 24-14, while the Cowboys dropped to 26-11.
The win was the longest game on record in OU history and the first win in Stillwater since 1992. However, Oklahoma did not play a game at Oklahoma State’s campus between 1997 and 2009.
The Cowboys rallied against a usually strong Sooner bullpen with three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to tie the game, 9-9, and force extra innings. It was the fifth extra-inning game of the season for Oklahoma and fourth such win.
Senior right-hander Kindle Ladd (McKinney, Texas) pitched brilliantly in relief. He threw 83 pitches in six innings and scattered two hits and two walks, while striking out four to keep the Sooners afloat.
In the top of the 18th, freshman designated hitter Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Carpenter brought him in with the double to left. From there, the OU bats continued to attack. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) tacked on RBI singles to push to score to 12-9.
Ladd (3-1) pitched four-plus innings for the second time in five days and fourth time this season. Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas) moved to the mound in the bottom of the 18th and put OSU down in order to record his first career save.
In what felt like an entirely different game, Oklahoma jumped on top early with four runs in the first inning on a grand slam by O’Brien. Aikin singled to lead off the game and a pair of walks loaded the bases setting up O’Brien’s second home run of the season; a rocket to deep left field.
Oklahoma State countered with two home runs in the home half of the first. First baseman Tanner Krietemeier launched a two-run shot, followed by a solo jack from left fielder Gage Green to cut the lead to one.
The Sooners continued to pour in the runs in the second inning. The bases were loaded again after an error, hit by pitch and a walk. Sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn (McKinney, Texas) drove in one run on a single to left field and Neuse picked up the big hit of the inning, a double to left, scoring two. One more OU run came in on a RBI groundout by junior left fielder Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas).
The Cowboys scratched across a run in the sixth, but Carpenter cancelled it out with his first home run of the season in the seventh to push the score to 9-4.
Oklahoma State loaded the bases in the eighth with one out and managed to score two runs on an error and one more on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to two. In the ninth, Krietemeier and Green picked up one-out hits to put runners on the corners. Right fielder Zach Fish drew OSU within one with an infield RBI single and the Cowboys tied the game on a RBI force out hit into by Ryan Sluder.
Left-hander Garrett Williams pitched just one inning in the start for Oklahoma State. He surrendered seven runs, six earned, on two hits and four walks. Fellow lefty Tyler Nurdin (2-3) took the loss in 3.1 innings of work. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out three. Right-hander Blake Battenfield tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball leading up to Nurdin’s appearance.
For Oklahoma, redshirt-junior right-hander Robert Tasin (Klein, Texas) went 4.2 innings in the start. He struck out six and was tagged for three runs on four hits and four walks.
For the game, the Sooners outhit the Cowboys, 18-15. Carpenter, Aikin and redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh (Broken Arrow, Okla.) recorded three-hit games. Alspaugh went 3-for-5 after entering the game as a pinch-runner in the seventh inning. Carpenter went 3-for-8 with two runs and two RBI, while Aikin was 3-for-9 with two runs and one RBI.
Oklahoma is back in action at home on Thursday night for a Big 12 match-up with West Virginia at 6:00 pm.