Bedlam Is Back!

Forget that it is Bedlam baseball, the most emotional and well attended regular season series in all of college baseball. Forget that Oklahoma State has won the last three regular season meetings with OU, and that the Cowboys have won four of the last five Bedlam series, and that they working on an eight-game win streak over the Sooners in Tulsa.

The real story for the Cowboys is they go in to game one of Bedlam at 7:35 p.m. on Friday at Driller Park with a 6-13 record in the Big 12 Conference and in ninth place. Texas Tech is 9-12 in eighth place and is holding down the final spot for the Big 12 Baseball Championship in Oklahoma City on May 20-24.

The Cowboys have this weekend, while Tech is playing at Kansas State, and next weekend to pass the Red Raiders and keep their season alive.

"You can look at it and see what we've got to do ahead of us," said OSU baseball head coach Frank Anderson. "It is black and white."

The Cowboys need to win both of these final series - this weekend against the Sooners and next weekend when they travel to Lubbock to face Texas Tech - and it would be very nice if they could find a way to get out the brooms for Bedlam and in Lubbock the next weekend.

The brooms or really the bats. While it hasn't always been this way, the last couple of weekends the Cowboys' expected strong pitching has come on with the combination of Andy Oliver, Tyler Lyons, and Tyler Blandford pitching well enough to win. The offense has struggled with four runs in the opening win at Texas A&M being the best run production in the last three conference series.

"We have to figure out how to get everybody to hit at the same time," said third baseman Tyrone Hambly, who is hitting .330 with 7 home runs and 34 RBIs.

"We have outhit teams and hit good pitching, but what we tend to do is get hits at separate times, one hit in the first, two in the third. We have to get them togehter and figure out how to drive more runs in," continued Hambly in his Australian accent.

The Cowboys took a step away from the diamond this week. First, they had final exams and second, Mother Nature kept the rain coming enough to keep the tarp on the field at Allie Reynolds Stadium. Anderson thinks that could help this team.

"I think they have put a lot of pressure on themselves at times, and I'm not sure that getting away from it might not be good," said Anderson. "You know in the past we have played pretty good coming out of finals, so this time of year it is pretty good to kind of regenerate yourself and come back."

"We hear it from ourselves more than anybody else," said Hambly about Anderson's point. "We have two weeks left to pull something out."

The pressure is on. It could help that Texas Tech, a team that struggles on the road, starts their games with Kansas State earlier than the Cowboys and Sooners each day.

Friday, May 8
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 6:30 p.m.
OSU vs, OU in Tulsa, 7:35 p.m.

Saturday, May 9
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 2 p.m.
OSU vs. OU in OKC, 7:07 p.m.

Sunday, May 10
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 1 p.m.
OSU vs. OU in OKC, 4:04 p.m.

"If we can get in the Big 12 Tournament it will be a new start," said left-hander starting pitcher Tyler Lyons, who will get the start on Saturday at Bricktown in Game 2 of the series. "We do that and everything will be forgotten from there. If we take it one game at a time and we get some wins then we can control our own destiny."

For Oklahoma State fans doubting it can happen, just check back to the start of the season when the Cowboys defeated ranked teams like East Carolina, Oregon State, and Call-State Fullerton.

"We played so well early and that is kind of the disappointment," said Anderson. "We played so well early and haven't played as well later on and that is counter to what we had been doing the last few years, playing well from the halfway point on in the season and finished things out. We haven't played as well down the stretch as we normally have."

That better change starting Friday night in Tulsa or for the first time in Big 12 baseball history the league will congregate in Oklahoma City without the biggest draw the tournament has in the Cowboys. It will be a major blow to the Big 12 but also to the Oklahoma State baseball program.

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