, Muskogee, OK


May 24, 2014

Oklahoma State eliminates Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Bedlam times seven equaled Game 10 of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship.

Rivalry scheduling (two “non-conference” games) plus the quirks of the post-season pitted Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in seven contests. Based on how the Cowboys and the Sooners approached this season’s series, Bedlam will become more Bedlamy.

No. 1 seed Oklahoma State prevailed over eighth-seeded Oklahoma, 11-8. It’s the second time the two teams played when the game started one day and ended the next. After three hours and 27 minutes, the game ended at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

“It was a tremendous college baseball game between two great programs and two tough teams,” said OU coach Pete Hughes, whose first season ended with a break-even 29-29 record. “The team that played the better defense and got the bit hit won.”

By winning, the Cowboys (43-15) get to return to Bricktown Ballpark in 12 hours. Oklahoma State will play Texas at 12:30 p.m. today. That game follows the Baylor-TCU game at 9 a.m. Oklahoma State and Baylor each need two wins to reach Sunday’s championship game while the Longhorns and the Horned Frogs just need one more victory.

“Not much rest, but we should have plenty of mojo,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said. “You definitely carry the good feeling of a win. This guy (Aaron Cornell) will feel like a million bucks.”

Cornell’s first homer provided the decisive blow in a game that went back and forth like windshield wipers in a downpour … which is what delayed the start two hours and three minutes. After the Cowboys lost a runner at the plate on a failed safety squeeze, Cornell yanked a curveball for a three-run homer to left to break an 8-all tie.

“That’s baseball - you can’t explain it,” Hughes said. “We went into that inning saying ‘Let (Conor) Costello and Cornell beat us. They try to go small ball because we had misplayed two bunts earlier. We make the play and then (Cornell) hits his first home run. It’s a crazy game and we saw it all tonight.”

Such as:

Oklahoma starter Adam Choplick’s pitching line: 5 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts, 2 hit batters.

Oklahoma’s Sheldon Neusse, the Big 12 freshman of the year, had his second four-hit game of the season and nearly beat out an infield hit in his fifth at bat. He was 8-for-16 in the tournament. “He’s the best hitter as a freshman I’ve seen,” Holliday said. “He’s gonna be really tough to get out for the next couple of years.”

Oklahoma State broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning when OU second baseman Kolbey Carpenter dropped a two-out pop fly that allowed Bryan Case to score. (An OU fan could be heard yelling “Can o’ corn” as the ball arced through the air.)

Oklahoma State’s Zach Fish, the Big 12 player of the year, reached on Carpenter’s drop. He then turned his ankle on a bizarre play. Stealing second with a runner at third, Fish made an awkward slide – even though the throw went to third trying to pick off the runner. Fish left the game and his status is uncertain.

With two outs in the seventh, Bryan Case homered to left, a laser shot. It was his second homer of the season.

In the sixth, Oklahoma misplayed two bunts. Choplick fielded one and fired it into the stands behind third and later in the inning a bunt rolled harmlessly between the third baseman and the pitcher.

“The team that plays the most consistently usually wins,” Hughes said. “That’s what we’ve got to strive for. We’ve got to defend, get back to the fundamentals of baseball. We didn’t defend the bunt twice. You can talk about everything else that happened but you’ve got to defend those plays.”

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