Cowboys tee off on Roberts

There were two marriage proposals, four ceremonial first pitches, Oklahoma media galore and thousands of Driller Chillers consumed. For OU and OSU baseball fans, Bedlam is "Little Omaha," and spectators of both schools were less concerned with the looming weddings and instead asking, "Larry Cochell, Will three conference games this season?"

TULSA Okla. -- Strange things were afoot in T-Town Friday night as both starting pitchers in game one of the Bedlam baseball series went the before a crowd of nearly 9,000 at Drillers Stadium in Tulsa.

However, Oklahoma State pitching ace Scott Baker proved stronger than Oklahoma pitcher Mark Roberts, in the 8-3 victory for OSU.

Slight pitching mistakes by the Sooners (14-24, 2-14 Big 12) allowed the Cowboys (28-13, 10-6 Big 12) to net enough runs to win.

"If you don't hit, and you leave the ball up over the middle of the plate against a good hitting club, you're not going to have any success," said OU coach Larry Cochell.

Baker stunted the Sooner offense striking out nine batters and giving up only two earned runs on four hits to carry him to his first complete game of the season.

"I thought there was a couple other opportunities this season that I could have gone nine, but what better night to do it than tonight," Baker said.

In his previous two starts, Baker had been lackluster at best, netting one loss and giving up a total of 10 earned runs in 11.1 innings.

"I knew,obviously, there was some stuff I needed to work on before this start," Baker said. "One was pitch down in the zone, and once I did that, I knew tonight was going to be a good night."

Despite picking up the loss, Roberts tossed a solid game as well. He sent eight Cowboys back to the dugout with strikeouts and gave up only five earned runs.

"I didn't feel like I got tired. I felt like my fast ball was still live in the later half of the game," Roberts said. "I felt like I threw good this game, but we just came up short."

The Cowboys' offense got a hit from every batter except designated hitter Mario Matulich, and everyone made it on base at least once.

Second baseman Kenny Hansley started the hitting for the Cowboys in the first with a line to right field that scored catcher Jason Jaramillo and increased OSU's lead to 3-0.

Shortstop Chris Gutierrez sent his first home run of the season over the left field wall in the eighth for one of his two hits, and rightfielder Lindsey Simmons notched the best offensive game for the Pokes going 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.

"I thought I made some good pitches," Roberts said. "They just got a couple bloop hits; they hit the ball hard a couple of times, and their hits fell. Ours didn't."

OSU continued to get hits here and there to put momentum in their favor for the remainder of the series.

"Setting the tone in this series, especially with the amount of hype it has, is important," Baker said.

Roberts, the Sooners' ace, said the outcome of the Friday game was in line with the OU production the entire season. Winning only two league games, OU will most likely miss the Big 12 Tournament.

"Tonight's game basically sums up our whole season," Roberts said.

OSU coach Tom Holliday said the record the Sooners tote is not reflective of their abilities.

"They are a good club," Holliday said. "They kept it close, and it wasn't an easy thing to beat them. They didn't give up, and I expected that."

While Roberts was his own worst critic, Holliday said he thought the Sooner hurler was pitching well against the Cowboys.

"He is a real good pitcher, and I thought he did good tonight, he kept us on our toes," Holliday said. "When you have a guy on the mound like Roberts, you get somebody who doesn't give up and keeps going at you in the sixth like it is still the second. He's a smart guy, we just figured him out."

Holliday said the hoopla surrounding the Bedlam series is fun, but also exhausting. The teams boarded buses around 11 p.m. Friday to take the two-hour drive from Tulsa to Oklahoma City for the next two games.

"This weekend is a lot tougher than it looks," Holliday said. "It is hard on the guys because of the traveling involved. We are getting a quick hamburger and a quick shower and getting on the bus to do it again."

The Sooners will try to take advantage of the change scenery as they head to Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City for game two of the series at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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