OSU Baseball: Season Could Have Ended Sooner

Yes, the headline to this article is a pun. The season could have ended sooner, and if it had the Oklahoma State Cowboys would have one less loss on their record, and the Oklahoma Sooners would still be on the outside looking in at the Big 12 Baseball Tournament this week in Oklahoma City.

Heck, the Kansas Jayhawks would be okay with it because while it doesn't ruin the fantastic sports year that KU has had they wouldn't have the slight embarrassment (for them) of being one of two schools not making the trip to Oklahoma City. Texas Tech should be more ashamed as it has a pretty good tradition in baseball, or should we say did have a pretty good baseball tradition.

The Sunday afternoon affair at the Bricktown Ballpark just seemed like an after thought. It sure wasn't a fore thought for the fans as what was a sellout plus announced crowd of 13,066 on Saturday turned into an exaggerated 9,189 on Sunday afternoon. The OKC fire marshal gets mad if they list the crowd any larger than the 13,066 capacity, but the extra 3,000 that didn't get counted on Saturday should have come on Sunday. They would have been counted and they would have had seats because apparently some of the 9,189 on Sunday did not want to sit in theirs.

I'm not saying the game shouldn't have been played, but it really was a let down from Friday and Saturday. Not just because OU won it as the Cowboys' Sunday pitching struggled, or that the Sooners finally found a couple of hurlers that could throw strikes, and not the BP kind of strikes. Reliever Chase Anderson actually had pitched well on Friday night in Tulsa and OSU coach Frank Anderson thought he was the key performer for Oklahoma Sunday.

"I thought that (Anderson coming in) was the biggest deal right there," said OSU's Frank Anderson. "When he came in and kept us from getting those two runs right there (in the sixth). If we make it 8-5, maybe tack on another and make it 8-6 then it becomes a whole new ball game.

"(Offensively) they hit some balls down both lines and we're diving around looking like dogs chasing car tires at times and that's baseball. It went sideways on us a little bit."

Give OU credit, but give the Cowboys more as they had won eight regular season games in a row over their rival. OSU won every Big 12 series this season except two, at Baylor and at Kansas State. That second one looks a little better now. This is a good OSU team that has an identity and needs to cling to it. OU won this game, but scoreboard watching or postseason dreaming may have gotten the Cowboys a little too.

"I felt like our team, all year long one of our biggest assets was we just worried about ourselves, and so I'm not sure we did that today as much as we have in the past," said Anderson. "They are human and they are going to look at TVs and they are going to hear radios and people are going to tell them what other scores were. I felt like we had done a really good job of identifying who we are, and we are pretty good when we grind and we pitch. I thought maybe we had a little bit (scoreboard watching) of that today."

Finally it is time for postseason and it will start quickly with the first games on Wednesday. No, Andrew Oliver won't be ready making it a dangerous choice for Frank Anderson. Our guess is Tyler Breedlove or possibly Matt Gardner coming back quickly after throwing just 2 and 2/3rds innings Sunday.

All of this uncertainty on the mound is another reason the season should have been over Saturday night. Anderson should get with Sunny Galloway to agree that they should play the Bedlam games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. That would give themselves an extra day of advantage against the rest of the league, and maybe even allow your Friday night starter (Thursday night for Bedlam) ready to come back on Wednesday in the Big 12 tourney opener.

I know this much, Sunday didn't change the Cowboys standing in the conference. They could have been first, but finished second.

What does second in the regular season get you? Does it get a regional host? It should. How about a super regional host as a national seed? Don't know. I'll bet you the tournament will decide that.

With three national seeds in the ACC there may only be room for one in the Big 12 and it is close enough that the committee may let the tourney answer that question, and if that is the case then the Cowboys may like the fact OU found a survival skill on the final regular season Sunday. Anderson didn't want to admit it, but being in a pool with Nebraska, Baylor and Kansas State beats being in a pool with the hottest team in the league in Texas and possibly seeing Missouri ace Aaron Crow again.

"It is (dangerous to say that)," answered Anderson. "We'd lost six in a row after the tournament (Big 12) last year and they thought we'd be a good team to have in their regional (at Arkansas) and we won the regional over there. I understand what you are saying, and Texas is a team you don't want coming to your regional right now and we knew that was going to be the case."

The Aggies lost on Sunday, to be swept by Texas, so let them swim in the pool with the sharks this week at the Bricktown Ballpark.

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