Cowboys' Hole Just Got Deeper

TULSA – Oklahoma State's baseball team did what it had to do … for about 20 minutes in Friday night's opening game of the three-game Bedlam series at Drillers Stadium. But the Cowboys dug themselves into a deeper hole by suffering a 5-2 loss to the 17th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners and are now on the verge of missing the conference tournament for the first time in 32 years.

The Cowboys are in ninth-place in the Big 12 Conference race, and only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason tournament later this month in Oklahoma City. With only five league games left to play, Friday night's loss to the Sooners – coupled with Texas Tech's 6-0 victory over Kansas State – means head coach Frank Anderson's team is in need of a miracle.

OSU is now 6-14 (.300) in the Big 12 race, and is left chasing eighth-place Baylor (10-13, .435) and seventh-place Texas Tech (10-12, .455).

The Cowboys are on the verge of not qualifying for postseason play for the first time since 1977, when Chet Bryan was the head coach.

The Cowboys, 29-20 overall but losers of five of their last six, must now play nearly undefeated baseball the last five games of the regular season, beginning with the final two games of the Bedlam series Saturday and Sunday in Oklahoma City. OSU's final three games are scheduled next week at Texas Tech.

It appeared that the Cowboys were ready to play when starter Andy Oliver retired the Sooners in order to open the game, and they scored twice in the bottom of the inning to take the early lead. Tyrone Hambly drew a one-out walk and Neil Medchill followed with an opposite field home run over the left field fence to give the Cowboys the early 2-0 lead.

But nothing else went right for the Cowboys. Oliver, who went eight innings and gave up just six hits but saw his record drop to 5-6, gave up a solo homer to Bryant Hernandez in the fourth inning and then a two-run shot to J.T. Wise in the sixth as the Sooners rallied to take a 3-2 lead. OU would add two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

OSU managed four hits in the first two innings but the Cowboys only had three more the rest of the way as Sooner reliever Michael Rocha shut them down. Rocha relieved OU starter Stephen Porlier in the third inning, went six innings and only allowed three hits to pick up the victory.

The loss in front of 10,757 was the first by Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series at Drillers Stadium since 2000, ending an eight-game winning streak by the Cowboys.

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