Gardner, Cowboys Shut Down Sooners

TULSA, Okla. ( – A record crowd at Drillers Stadium watched No. 24 Oklahoma State topple eighth-ranked Oklahoma, 4-2, in Friday's Bedlam series opener. Sophomore Matt Gardner won his third straight start for the Cowboys, and Jordy Mercer was 2-for-4 with a home run before earning the save on the mound as OSU improved to 34-14 overall and 13-9 in Big 12 Conference play.

OSU's win was its sixth straight against OU at Drillers Stadium, where 11,262 fans watched Friday's contest. The overflow crowd was the largest to ever watch a Bedlam game at the stadium.

Mercer gave the Cowboys an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning as the freshman blasted a solo home run in his first-ever Bedlam at bat against OU starter Daniel McCutcheon. OSU added another run in the inning on an RBI double by Tyler Mach.

The score remained 2-0 until the seventh when OSU plated a pair of unearned runs against McCutcheon. With one out, Mercer reached on an error, and two batters later, Corey Brown hit a towering homer over the wall in right field. The blast was Brown's 10th of the season.

OSU clung to its four-run lead until the Sooners mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth.

Jackson Williams led off the frame with a single against OSU reliever Oliver Odle and then scored on a double by Aaron Reza to make the score 4-1 and drive Odle from the game.

Mercer, who started the game at shortstop, took the mound and promptly retired the first two batters he faced on fly ball outs. The second of those flyouts was a sacrifice fly by Chuckie Caufield, which scored Reza from third to make the score 4-2.

OU (37-14, 15-7) got the tying run on base when Mercer walked Russell Raley with two outs, but Kody Kaiser flied out to end the Sooners' rally and the game.

Gardner improved to 5-3 by pitching 7.2 scoreless innings and allowing just five hits while striking out five. It was the sophomore right hander's fourth win in Big 12 play this season.

Mercer notched his team-leading third save with the scoreless ninth inning of work and also had two of OSU's seven hits.

The Bedlam series shifts to Oklahoma City and the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark for the final two games. The two teams will square off Saturday at 8 p.m., with Sunday's finale scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.

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