CNHI News Service
OKLAHOMA CITY — The 2013 edition of the Bedlam baseball battle will likely be known as the Gage Green series.
After coming through Friday night with the game-winning RBI, Green scored the game-deciding run Saturday at Bricktown Ballpark — by stealing home.
While the run put 19th-ranked OSU up by two over No. 13 Oklahoma, the run proved important as the Sooners scored one in the bottom half of the frame and the Cowboys held on for a 4-3 win to clinch the series victory and set up a chance for the sweep in Sunday’s finale at 1 p.m. at Bricktown Ballpark.
“The best thing about Gage is how hard he competes and how much he cares about this team. You cannot find enough people in the world like that,” OSU first-year coach Josh Holliday said. “This kid would do anything for Oklahoma State and you can see it in his play every day. This kid is a baseball player and a winner.”
The loss, which was the Sooners’ fifth in the last six games and guaranteed their second straight series loss, technically sank them into a tie for fourth in the Big 12 Conference with just four league games left. It is the first time this season OU (34-16, 11-9 Big 12) has been more than a half-game out of first place. OSU (36-12, 11-8) jumped up to third place.
“To me it’s simple: if we want to go on and play in the postseason we’re gonna have to play a lot better than we are right now,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “We’re not playing good enough to get to a super regional. We’re not playing good enough to get to Omaha. If we want to do those things, we have to play better.”
Green carried over his solid start at catcher on Friday into his move back to his regular position in left field. In the bottom of the first, Green tracked down a shot by OU’s Max White at the wall that would have easily gone for extra innings had he not made the leaping catch.
“I didn’t know where I was ... and couldn’t tell how much room I had and just saw the wall out of the corner of my eye,” Green said. “When I jumped up, I had probably one more step to the wall.”
Randy McCurry gave OSU a leadoff base runner when he was plunked by OU ace Jonathan Gray, who is being projected as the potential top pick in the MLB Draft. He was plated on a double by catcher Victor Romero, who returned for Saturday’s contest after sitting out Friday with an injury. Romero then scored on a two-out triple by Robbie Rea that hit the right field line.
“It seemed like everything that could have gone bad went bad for me. I take full credit for that loss,” Gray said. “I didn’t give us a strong start.”