With Kansas State winning their series against Baylor this weekend, the Cowboys had to win both games of the rain-shortened Bedlam series to even make the Big 12 tournament. That’s exactly what they did. With the series sweep, the Cowboys claim the eighth and final seed in next weekend’s Big 12 Championship. Before we get too far though, let’s see how the Cowboys came back from the brink to claim the HUGE victory.
Game 1: Cowboys 9, Sooners 7
The Cowboys’ offense proved to be the saving grace for them tonight, as timely hitting and a crooked fifth inning helped the Cowboys take the first game of the doubleheader.
The Cowboys took the lead early in the first on a perfectly executed double steal. Garrett Benge was walked, then swiped second while Garrett McCain was able to scamper home to take the early lead.
OU took the lead in the fourth inning, thanks to a double by Austin O’Brien and a single by Ben Hollas. These two runs were the only two surrendered by Cowboys’ starting pitcher Tyler Buffett. Buffett (6-5) didn’t have the greatest outing in his career, but the senior right-handed pitcher was able to do enough as he held the Sooners to two runs on six hits. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in his four innings pitched.
It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to reclaim the lead.
Sooner starting pitcher Jake Irvin (6-1) struggled with his command in his fifth and final inning, walking three Cowboys in the inning. Benge came up to the plate with Cameron Dobbs and McCain on first and second, then proceeded to knock in a run to tie the game. After Colin Simpson walked to load the bases, Ryan Sluder hit into a fielders choice to score a run and take the lead. Cade Cabiness ripped a double to clear the bases and take a 5-2 lead.
Then the rain came. Then the lightning. And after hours of waiting, the completion of game one was delayed until Saturday.
Luckily, the Cowboys picked things up the next day, right where they left them off. They scored a run in the sixth thanks to two wild pitches by OU relief pitcher Dylan Grove, as well as a run in the seventh from a Dustin Williams solo home run to extend the lead to 7-2.
The Sooners added two runs of their own thanks to a solo home run by Cade Harris and an RBI groundout by Brylie Ware to cut the Cowboy lead to 7-4. Both these runs were scored off the first Cowboy relief pitcher Blake Battenfield. In 3 and 1/3 innings, Battenfield allowed those two runs to cross the plate on three hits. He walked three runners while only striking out two Sooners on the night.
The Pokes added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning, and boy would they need them. Jon Littell squeeze bunted a run across the plate before Bryce Fischer knocked a single to right field to bring in Cade Cabbiness.
Trey Cobb came on to finish the game up by a score of 9-4. Cobb still doesn’t appear to have returned to his pre-injury form, as the senior out of Broken Arrow gave up three runs on only two hits in his only inning of work. He gave up two walks and only struck out one of the seven batters he faced. S. Walker doubled in the bottom of the ninth to score two more runs, and O’Brien grounded out to bring home his second RBI of the contest. However, Cobb finished off the Sooners and closed out the game to keep the Cowboys’ postseason dreams alive.
McCain was a perfect 3-for-3 in the contest, hitting three singles and walking twice. He scored once and knocked in one RBI.
Cabbiness was 2-for-4 on the day, knocking in two runners and scoring one of his own.
Game 2: Cowboys 5, Sooners 2
Joe Lienhard threw seven superb innings for the Cowboys, only giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks and seven strikeouts on 113 pitches. After Josh Holliday was forced to use his bullpen for the majority of the first game, Lienhard (3-2) went out and was able to save some arms, which is always an important thing to do in a doubleheader. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Lienhard though, as he needed a ground ball double play in both the first and second innings to shut down the Sooner threat.
The Cowboys struck early in the second game as well, putting three runs on the board in the top of the first inning. Garrett McCain opened the scoring with a triple to center, scoring Ryan Cash.
Garrett Benge and Ryan Sluder each walked to load the bases, and Dustin Williams singled to score two runs and chase starting pitcher Kyle Tyler (0-2) after 2/3 of an inning.
Both teams traded a run in the fourth inning, with McCain hitting a single to score Cameron Dobbs for the Pokes. OU countered by scoring an unearned run on an Austin O’Brien infield single.
OU added another run in the seventh inning thanks to a Cade Harris single, but it could have been worse. Jack Flansburg seemingly laced one to the left-center field gap, but McCain came flying in to rob Flansburg of an extra-base hit and, likely, a run.
The Cowboys added an insurance run in the top of the eighth off of a crazy play to say the least. I’ll try to explain as best as I can. Cabbiness and Littell were on base, and Dobbs tried sacrifice bunting with two strikes, but missed the ball according to the home plate umpire. He was called out, according to the rules. Sooner catcher Renae Martinez missed the pitch, and the two baserunners moved up, with Cabbiness scoring and Littell moving to third.
OU threatened once again in the bottom of the eighth, putting two runners on base with a single and a walk off OSU pitcher Jake Cowan. Carson Teel came in to try and work out of the jam, and that’s exactly what he did.
Both teams went 1-2-3 in their respective halves of the ninth inning, and the Cowboys secured the Bedlam sweep and a berth in the Big 12 Tournament next weekend.