Stillwater News Press

College Sports

May 12, 2013

Cowboys fall to Sooners in series finale

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State baseball has yet to complete a series sweep this season as the Bedlam rival Sooners rallied to take Sunday's finale 5-4 at Bricktown Ballpark.

"We come out and play a conference series of this importance against a very, very good team and to win two out of three, I'm very proud of my team," OSU coach Josh Holliday said. "I'm sure anybody would take two out of three in a state rivalry game. Would have loved to have won the third one, but today we didn't play the last five innings as clean or as competitive as necessary to separate. And they did."

The 19th-ranked Cowboys jumped out to the early lead with two runs in both the second and third innings, but the middle innings belonged to No. 13 Oklahoma.

With OSU (36-13, 11-9 in Big 12) holding a 4-0 lead, OU put together a three-run fourth to trim into the deficit. Two innings later, the Sooners grabbed their first lead in Bricktown with a two-run rally off OSU relief pitcher Vince Wheeland — who earned his first loss of the season.

Craig McConaughy, who was starting for shortstop Randy McCurry who was plunked by OU ace Jonathan Gray in Saturday's victory, joined the weekend's two-out hit parade in the top of the second. With bases full of Cowboys, facing a 1-2 count with two outs, McConaughy laced a liner into center to score Robbie Rea and Gage Green — both of which had reached on singles.

Oklahoma State would scratch across two more runs in the third with a sacrifice fly by Rea to play Donnie Walton, who had led off the inning with a single, and a bunt single by Green that allowed Tanner Krietemeier to score from third.

The Sooners (35-16, 12-9) came back with a three-run fourth inning that chased OSU starting pitcher Mark Robinette from the game after giving up two doubles and a single.

"Mark was sharp early, just had one of those innings where the ball kind of got away from him a little," Holliday said. "He left the ball up and they did a nice job of capitalizing on it."

Things unraveled again for the Cowboys when McConaughy made a costly mistake in the decisive sixth inning.

A throwing error by OSU's backup shortstop allowed OU's Matt Oberste to reach base to the lead off the bottom half of the inning. After a walk to Hector Lorenzana, Kolbey Carpenter singled to right to score Oberste — which led to Wheeland being replaced by Jon Perrin on the mound. Perrin induced a double play by the first batter faced, but Lorenzana was able to score on the plate to give the Sooners the game-deciding run.

From there, the Sooners, who improved to 25-1 when leading after seven innings, held on despite one close call that led to Holliday being ejected in the top of the eighth when arguing a call at the plate in which Aaron Cornell was called out while stealing third and trying to make it home on a wild pitch.

It was the third controversial call that went against OSU. The first was also a play at the plate in which Zach Fish was thrown out by right fielder Max White in the fifth inning — which would have given the Cowboys a 5-3 advantage. The second came in the same eighth inning that led to Holliday's ejection, when Green was hit by a pitch but the umpire called him back for supposedly leaning into the pitch.

"That's baseball. I'm not going to talk a whole lot about it — it's just part of the game," Holliday said. "You defend your team, which I did, and you just move on. We'll look at the replay later, but they were in the heat of the moment in a great battle. ...

"I'm not proud of that. I don't believe in that. It's against everything I believe in. ... I didn't get ugly, I just told him that you're going to have to throw me out now because I've been out here three times and he agreed."

The Cowboys will travel to face Wichita State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before returning to Allie P. Reynolds Stadium for the Big 12 Conference finale against West Virginia starting on Thursday.

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