Cowboys' Winning Streak Comes To An End

TULSA - After Friday night's ninth-inning, walk-off victory to secure the outright Big 12 regular season baseball championship, it would be easy to expect a slight let down from the Oklahoma State baseball team. Or at the very least an exhale as the first two games of the Bedlam series provided the Cowboys with all the accomplishments that they were after except another conference series sweep.

You also have the development that the results of the first two games have set up a Bedlam opener at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in Bricktown on the first day of the Big 12 Tournament.

Or maybe Oklahoma saw enough or had enough on Thursday and Friday nights. Bedlam losses have a way of being motivational, and actually, Oklahoma had not played poorly at all. the Sooners just hadn't made the plays to win.

In game three on Saturday night, Oklahoma made the plays, the bigger hits, pitches and defensive plays as they claimed an 8-1 win to close out the regular season.

Oklahoma wasted no time as Cowboys starter Garrett Williams had his second struggling start against OU. The big freshman left-hander got the start in the non-conference version of Bedlam in the on campus game at Allie Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater. In that game Williams walked the bases loaded and left one over the plate that OU freshman Austin O'Brien sent over the wall in left field.

Saturday night at ONEOK Field, after Craig Aiken opened with a single, Williams got the next two hitters on a strikeout and fielder's choice before he walked Mac James and O'Brien to load the bases. Anthony Hermelyn singled to right to score James and Hector Lorenzana.

After second baseban Tim Arakawa couldn't handle a routine ground ball, Williams left having allowed two runs, both earned. He would be credited for two more, but both were unearned when hit a line drive single to left and O'Brien and Hermelyn both came home.

Williams would get the loss. A quick 4-0 start was just what Oklahoma needed. Blake Battenfield was the new pitcher and he would later give way to Trey Cobb as the Cowboys plan looked to be using all freshman arms in the game.

Defense is a huge part of the Cowboys success. They have had tough defensive games and typically when they do it leads to tough results. It seems like when they play clean defensively they are unbeatable.

Meanwhile, on offense the Pokes had some opportunities with OU starter Kindle Ladd but were unable to keep anything sustained. When Ladd did have to leave in the bottom of huge fifth, lefty Jeffrey Curran came in and settled it down reasonably well.

The Sooners added two more runs in the top of the fourth on RBI singles by Aiken and Lorenzana. At that stage 6-0 had to feel good, but no lead seems to be safe with the come-from-behind Cowboys lurking.

The only OSU run came in the bottom of the fifth and it was slightly manufactured as Arakawa singled sharply up the middle and then after Craig McConaughy singled to left, catcher Bryan Case tagged a ball deep into the corner in right that OU right fielder Hunter Haley flagged down but Arakawa tagged up and moved to third. A pitch later there was a wild pitch that Arakawa just slid in under a tag attempt for the run to make it 6-1.

Oklahoma got the icing on the last piece of Bedlam cake in the top of the eighth inning when Sheldon Neuse, quiet most of the series, got all of a Alex Hackerott pitch and put it into the picnic area in left field for a two-run home run and the final margin of 8-1.

The win by Oklahoma and loss by the Cowboys really had no effect on anything other than it ended the Pokes 12-game win streak and leaves the Cowboys with a regular season Big 12 mark of 18-6 and 41-14 overall.

Oklahoma finishes just above .500 at 28-27 and 8-16 in the Big 12. The two meet for the sixth time this season on Wednesday in Oklahoma City with the Cowboys ready to launch another win streak.

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