Bedlam Baseball: Cowboys Going For Sweep

OKLAHOMA CITY - Despite the threat of severe weather and some late inning wind blown sheets of rain a near capacity crowd of 12,107 came out to the Bricktown Ballpark Saturday night and saw Oklahoma State clobber Oklahoma 10-2, clinching the Bedlam baseball series ,and at the same time the overall Bedlam Cup for all sports for the year.

The Cowboys, who won in Tulsa on Friday night 8-7, could record a second straight regular season sweep of the Sooners when the two teams square off in the series finale on Sunday at the Bricktown Ballpark at 4 p.m.

Cowboy starting pitcher Oliver Odle was rocky at the start giving up several hits and two runs in the first inning. But Odle settled down and received plenty of support from his defense in going six and two-thirds innings to get the win. Odle, who is best when he gets opposing hitters to hit the ball on the ground, is now 5-4 on the season. Justin Friend, who got the save in game one Friday, came on and pitched the final two and a third innings to finish off OU.

In support of Odle, the Cowboys turned four double plays and added a few more web gems for the Bedlam series. Third baseman Matt Mangini started perhaps the most spectacular of the double plays in the second when he fielded a hot ground ball and fired the ball to second to starts a 5-4-3 twin killing. Keanon Simons flagged down a moving line drive on the dead run later in the game for a web gem and Rebel Ridling made a sensational play at first base on an absolute shot down the line for yet another impressive piece of glove work.

Stillwater redshirt freshman Ryan Pittman got the start behind the plate at catcher following a rough game Friday night for catcher Ryan Flavell. Pittman threw out a runner early in the game, came out from behind the plate to make a tough major league foul ball, and also singled for his first hit in conference play this season. Pittman may have earned himself a place in the starting line-up with his play on Saturday.

After falling behind early, sophomore shortstop Jordy Mercer put the Cowboys in front with one swing in the bottom of the second as with two men on OU starting lefty Heath Taylor threw a high fastball that Mercer clubbed into the third row of seats in left field. The Cowboys pieced together a couple of one run innings to lead 5-2 before Ty Mach closed the door on Oklahoma with a three-run shot off reliever Garrett Richards in the bottom of the seventh inning. The blast was part of a five-run outburst to put the Cowboys up comfortably 10-2.

Oklahoma State is now 12-8 in the Big 12 and 33-13 overall. They also gained a game on second-place Missouri as Texas beat the Tigers on Saturday to move Mizzou to 13-7. OSU will close out the Big 12 regular season at home against Missouri on May 18, 19, and 20.

Oklahoma drops to 8-12 in the Big 12 and 28-19 overall and they are in definite danger of not only missing the NCAA Tournament but also missing out playing in the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City.

The baseball series clinch also clinched the year long Bedlam Cup standings in all sports for Oklahoma State. However, baseball Bedlam just isn't what it used to be. In the third inning of Saturday's game Ty Mach hit a groundball to OU shortstop Aaron Reza. Reza fielded the ball and caught the Cowboys Ty Wright too far off second base. A rundown insued, and Wright finally pickled up good threw his body hard into OU third baseman Zach Hedges when he was tagged.

Oklahoma coach Sunny Galloway wasted no time coming out of the first base dugout to argue that Wright should be tossed. While neither the OSU dugout or players in the OSU bullpen in left field moved a muscle, the players in the OU pen in right all came out into right field. Veteran Big 12 umpiring crew of Jeff Hendrix, Bob Homolka and Randy Wetzel met and Wright was tossed. The ruling was Wright threw a deliberate elbow. The problem was Wright was in the basepath and a runner does have a right to dislodge the ball on a tag play, just as you would by coming in hard at a base or especially home plate.

There is no doubt the umpires for this weekend were reminded to keep the Cowboys and Sooners in check after the pushing and shoving conclusion to Bedlam last season that also featured Galloway and Cowboys coach Frank Anderson flapping their jaws at one another with assorted unpleastantries.

There in no advocating of dugout clearing brawls like we've seen in past Bedlams, but it is reasonable to expect the Big 12 Conference and the umpires to let the two teams play like men and not force Bedlam into being played like it's on a junior little league diamond.

The good thing is that the ultra-conservative heave-ho did not cost Wright his hitting streak. To get on base Wright had singled to extend his current streak to 23 games with a base hit. I'd hate to think a player the caliber of Wright would have lost a rather impressive hitting streak on an elbow that might not have even been called a foul in a Big 12 women's basketball game.

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