Oklahoma CITY, Okla. – A line drive that ricocheted off the back off Oklahoma State starting pitcher Michael Freeman dove quickly toward the infield grass before being snared at the last moment by Cowboys’ shortstop Donnie Walton on Saturday night.
A lazy pop fly – one that flew so high it might have been called for an infield fly had it not drifted into the outfield – fell in between four Oklahoma Sooners.
Thus was the second game of the Bedlam series for Oklahoma, which extended its season-high, five-game losing streak with an 8-1 loss to Oklahoma State and lost the Bedlam regular-season series for the fifth straight season.
“We may feel like our backs are against the wall right now,” Oklahoma catcher Anthony Hermelyn said. “We just have to come out and keep fighting.”
Not much went right for Oklahoma (29-21, 10-7 Big 12) as it fell three games behind the No. 11 Cowboys for first place in the Big 12 Conference. When it did have a chance, the No. 25 Sooners found a way to stop it themselves – unable to come up with a timely hit.
Oklahoma State (31-14, 14-6) recorded six two-out hits and scored three runs with two outs. The Sooners had just one two-out hit, but they did have a double play by Taylor Alspaugh with the bases loaded in fourth inning.
“That’s the sign of a team that’s going good,” Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes said. “Ground-ball double plays are a sign of a team that’s not going so good.”
There will be no rubber match in the Bedlam series, which has seen Oklahoma State win seven of the past nine games. The two teams will play the series finale at 4 p.m. Sunday.
“We just can’t get the job done right now,” Hermelyn said. “Credit to them, they are getting the job done. They’re getting clutch knocks.”After allowing the first three batters of the game to reach base, Freeman – the Cowboys’ starter who worked a complete game – showed that he was the better of the two giants. The 6-foot-8 lefty scattered seven base runners over the next six innings, while 6-foot-7 Oklahoma starter Alec Hansen, who came into the game leading the conference in strikeouts, left the game in the sixth inning after having allowed six runs.
Hansen struck out just four batters.
“When you have your opportunity against a guy with a 1.16 ERA, you’ve got to get more than one run in that situation,” Hughes said of facing Freeman. “. . . You have to pick your spots with a guy that is going that good. You better take advantage of it. We didn’t.”
Though, it wasn’t Oklahoma State’s top hitters that did the most damage Saturday night. The bottom three in the Cowboys’ lineup – Ryan Sluder, Bryan Case and Jacob Chappell – reached base on eight of 12 plate appearances and scored seven runs.
Case, the Cowboys’ catcher, finished with a triple, two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored.
The rest of the lineup scored just once for the Cowboys. Only five players reached second base for Oklahoma and only one after the fourth inning, which ended with Alspaugh’s double play.
“They had a really good balanced offense up and down,” Hughes said. “There are no outs in that lineup. They all can run. They all can move runners. Great plate discipline and timely hitters. That was proven (Saturday).”