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Ryan Sluder Leads Cowboys To Bedlam Series Win

Ryan Sluder's hot bat led the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys to a series-victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.

Stillwater News Press

It was a solid weekend for the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball team, which won its fifth consecutive Bedlam series.  The Cowboys improved its record to 31-14 and are now 14-6 in the Big 12 after winning two of three games over the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend. The Cowboys have defeated its in-state rival in three of four contests this season.

Friday: Oklahoma State 9, Oklahoma 6

It wasn't the best game for RHP Jon Perrin, but he was able to battle into the eighth inning after surrendering three runs in the opening frame. Perrin then went on to throw six consecutive scoreless before his fatigue finally got the best of him.

Perrin's line: 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 5 strikeouts, 5 walks on 111 pitches.

The only thing that is slightly concerning for me is the walks. Perrin usually has relatively good command of his pitches, so I'm not going to make a big deal about the five walks.

Just because the Cowboys didn't score 24 runs this time doesn't mean they didn't have an offense that was firing on all cylinders. Every Cowboy starter reached base in this game, including seven players with hits, while Ryan Sluder was the only one to register two.

The Cowboys outscored the Sooners 9-3 in the final eight innings of its series-opening win. Everyone truly contributed to this victory, with Donnie Walton, Dustin Williams, Conor Costello, Bryan Case and Sluder all driving in runs.  Sluder continued his recent tear with a seventh inning home run off of Jeffrey Curran.

Also, this happened.

Player of the game: Ryan Sluder 2-4 2 RBI's and a home run.

Saturday: Oklahoma State 8, Oklahoma 1

LHP Michael Freeman pitched in Saturday's game so the outcome was pretty predictable. I'm running out of ways to say how incredible Freeman has pitched this year and this game was no exception. Freeman threw a complete game and only allowed one run to the Sooners, while forcing 12 groundouts. Signature Freeman.

Freeman's line: 9 innings pitched, 1 run, 5 hits, 7 strikeouts, 4 walks on 119 pitches.

Here are some fun stats: this was Freeman's third complete game of the season, he notched his eighth win and dropped his ERA to an incredible 1.16. You have to wonder if Freeman is going to stay as the Saturday starter going forward when he is obviously the ace of the staff. I think it would be tough for coach Holliday to not start Freeman in the first game of a regional.

The Cowboys offense was clicking again in Saturday's contest, scoring eight runs on 12 hits. Case put the Cowboys up 2-1 with a two-RBI triple that plated Arakawa and Sluder, Jacob Chappell also added an RBI single.

Corey Hassel continued his solid weekend with a single that brought home two runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 5-1. Hassel and Case were the team leaders with three hits apiece. Gage Green also went 1-3 with two RBI's on the day.

Player of the game: Freeman, duh.

Sunday: Oklahoma 5, Oklahoma State 3

OSU just couldn't quite pull off the sweep in this contest, but it didn't go down without a fight. Just like it did in the first two games, OSU fell behind early after allowing a run in the first inning. Another run scored in the second off of RHP Carson LaRue who started the game, giving the Sooners a 2-0 lead.

OSU's offense was dormant until the fifth inning when Donnie Walton hit a two-run shot to knot the game up. The Sooners then went up 3-2 on an RBI groundout, but the lead didn't last long as Sluder hit his second home run of the series to tie the game yet again.

The game remained tied until seventh when Anthony Hermelyn hit a two-run home run off LHP Tyler Nurdin that proved to be a deciding blow.

LaRue was not his sharpest in his third start of the season. The freshman could not even make it out of the second inning before being relieved by RHP Trey Cobb, who only surrendered one hit in 4 1/3 innings.  Obviously, Nurdin earned the loss after giving up the game-winning home run.

The lack of a true Sunday starter is the only thing that is preventing this team from being a true contender to win the College World Series. Sure, OSU can rely on a group of relievers to get it done on Sunday, but when it comes to the postseason it will need a guy who can give them six quality innings.

Player of the game: Walton and Sluder each hit a home run.

Series MVP: Ryan Sluder went 4-11 with two home runs on the weekend. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week definitely has a chance to win the award again. You can make an argument for Freeman here, but he's going to win enough awards. Also, Sluder contributed in all three games, while Freeman only pitched in one. Hard to go wrong either way, but I really like what Sluder has been doing lately.

The Cowboys have its momentum heading in the right direction as they finish up the Big 12 season against West Virginia this weekend.