Cowboys claim series, knock OU farther down Big 12 standings
OKLAHOMA CITY The No. 18 Oklahoma baseball team's chances of winning the Big 12 are almost diminishing following another 4-3 loss Saturday against Oklahoma State at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
After getting a less-that-stellar start from junior pitcher Jonathan Gray, the Sooners (34-16, 11-9) missed many opportunities to come back after falling behind 3-0 through the first five innings. But the team did fight back, but it was not enough, especially after Oklahoma State left fielder Gage Green stole home to score the game-winning run in the top of the eighth.
Key Stat: 7 — Oklahoma State got the leadoff batter on base in seven times Saturday, forcing Gray to throw 109 pitches through five innings and the bullpen to be in jams as soon as the inning started.
Key Player: Oklahoma State left fielder Gage Green — Green went 1-for-2 with a run scored, and he played solid in the field, robbing OU senior right fielder Max White of at least extra basess with a leaping catch against the wall in left. But his biggest contribution came when he scored the game-winning run by stealing home on an 0-2 count with two outs. It was a calculated risk, but the risk paid off well.
What it means: The Sooners fall to fourth in the Big 12 with their fourth straight loss, and their chances of winning the Big 12 regular season title is almost completely out of the question with one weekend left in conference play. Kansas State came back to win its game today to improve to 13-7 in Big 12 play, and West Virginia took game one of a double-header but was trailing in game two Saturday. The Cowboys took control of third in the standings after these last two victories. If Kansas State wins again Sunday and OU loses, then the Sooners will have to sweep the Wildcats next weekend if they want at most a share of the conference crown. Otherwise, this team is on the outside looking in for both the Big 12 regular season title and NCAA tournament considering the conference may get only two representatives representatives in the field of 64.
What’s next for the Sooners: OU will try to salvage the series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Junior pitcher Dillon Overton is slated to start, marking his first start since the New Orleans series. He has missed his last two starts because of an elbow injury.