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Oklahoma State Claims Big 12 Title With Bedlam Win

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

This year's Bedlam baseball series pits two teams moving in opposite directions and experiencing two very different things.

Thursday night at Bricktown Ballpark, it was Oklahoma State that kept on rolling, winning the series opener over the Sooners, 4-2, in front of 5,478 fans.

It was the 11th win in a row for the Cowboys, who clinched at least a share of their first Big 12 title with the win and Baylor's win over TCU. Oklahoma State also clinched the top seed in next weekend's Big 12 tournament with the win.

"We went into this ball game focused on OU and playing well," OSU coach Josh Holliday said. "I'm proud of my team, not just when they win, but I'm proud of who they are and what they stand for as a group."

Holliday was a member of the last Oklahoma State team to win a regular season conference championship back in 1996 and he said he didn't want this to be the only one for his Cowboys.

"I'm extremely proud of them and happy for them," Holliday said. "I'm most happy for the players and the fans. To see these kids excited and invested in each other. I remember what it was like to hold that trophy in 1996 and I'll never forget it, so it's nice to win this one."

For Oklahoma, it was another game where things just didn't go the Sooners' way, even though they had plenty of opportunities to win the game.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, OSU right fielder Conor Costello took a borderline pitch from Jacob Evans that would have ended the inning. It was called a ball.

"It was a hell of pitch," OU catcher Mac James said. "He couldn't have hit a better spot."

On the very next pitch, Costello planted the ball in the left field stands for a three-run homer.

"I thought that was Jacob's best performance," OU coach Pete Hughes said. "I thought he certainly pitched well enough for us to win and gave us a chance to win. He should feel good about himself."

Oklahoma never seriously threatened after the second inning, when the Sooners had runners on second and third with one out. James was thrown out at home on a ground ball to third and Kolbey Carpenter struck out to end the threat.

In the top of the sixth inning, Craig Aikin led off the inning with a line drive down the left field line. OSU left fielder Aaron Cornell corralled the ball and fired in to second just as Aikin got there, trying to stretch the single into a double. Aikin avoided the initial tag, but overslid the bag and was tagged out.

Aikin, James and Hunter Haley all finished with two hits each while Zach Fish and Gage Green each had three hits for the Cowboys.

OSU starter Jon Perrin was brilliant, pitching 7.1 innings and giving up just two runs on seven hits. Perrin didn't issue a walk all night and struck out four.

A sacrifice fly from Cornell put the Cowboys up, 1-0, in the bottom of the fourth and that gave Perrin a big boost going forward.

"In my mind, I need to put up zeroes, so one run should be enough," Perrin said. "That just allows me to have a little breathing room. That three-run blast proved to be the difference, so definitely a huge play."

Brendan McCurry worked the ninth inning to earn his 16th save of the season.

The Sooners rallied in the top of the eighth inning, scoring two runs on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly, but it wasn't enough, as OU suffered its fourth loss in five games. 

Evans was very good for the Sooners on the hill besides the home run given up to Costello. Evans pitched 6.1 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out five in taking the loss.

"I felt good, I had all my stuff and a pretty good grip on my curveball tonight," Evans said. "Just one pitch can make it a pretty different ball game."

The series now shifts to Tulsa, where the two teams will play the last two games at ONEOK Field.

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