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Cowboys Win Bedlam, Advance To Title Game

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Oklahoma State knocked off Bedlam-rival Oklahoma, 5-1, Saturday at ONEOK Field to advance to its second-straight Big 12 Championship title game.

With its fourth win over the Sooners this season, the 11th-ranked Cowboys improved to 37-17 and will now face Texas in Sunday's title tilt at noon. Both OSU and the Longhorns advanced to the tourney's championship game with 3-0 marks.

Dustin Williams collected three of OSU's six hits Saturday against OU, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple and driving in two runs, and Jon Perrin picked up the win on the mound on his 22nd birthday to improve to 6-4 on the season.

“Jon (Perrin) pitched a really good game against a tough lineup – he gave us six quality innings and gave us the stability to score a few runs,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We weren't great on offense, but Dustin (Williams) and Donovan (Walton) had some big swings of the bat that created as much offense as we were able to put together. Not a great day on offense, in terms of the conditions or output, but I thought we did enough and did it kind of when we needed to.”

OSU took a lead it never surrendered in the top of the second. Williams led off the inning with a double down the right field line, and back-to-back, one-out walks to Tim Arakawa and Conor Costello loaded the bases. With Bryan Case at the plate, OU starter Corey Copping uncorked a wild pitch to bring home the Cowboys' first run, and Case then picked up an RBI with a groundout to make it 2-0.

Case was also part of a standout OSU defense as he threw out runners trying to steal second base in both the third and fourth innings to help Perrin keep the Sooners off the scoreboard through the first five frames. The Cowboys played error-free baseball and also tied a season high by turning three double plays.

“We continue to play tremendous defense, which when you watch these games you appreciate how one play here or there could change an inning,” Holliday said. “Our kids have been awesome on the infield, making play after play. That's been a big piece of why we've been able to pitch so well.”

The Cowboys added to their lead in the sixth. Following an infield single by Donnie Walton, who had two hits in the contest, Williams stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI double into the right-center field gap to give OSU a 3-0 advantage.

The bottom of the inning saw OU (34-27) score its lone run of the game as three-straight singles with one out, the final one resulting in an RBI for Taylor Alspaugh, made the score 3-1. The Sooners threatened more, but with one out and runners on second and third, Perrin struck out Kolbey Carpenter and got Anthony Hermelyn to ground out to end the threat.

OSU tallied its final runs in the eighth. Once again, Walton got things started with a single, and Williams followed by crushing an opposite-field triple to left-center field to put the Cowboys on top, 4-1. Kevin Bradley then pinch hit and picked up an RBI single to extend the lead to four.

“Pitching with the lead is definitely a good thing,” Perrin said. “As pitchers, we're able to settle down into that groove, know that we're going to make pitches and we're not worried about giving up hits. (OU) sprinkled seven singles across the board today, but I'm not really worried about it. We have a great defense, and a couple of double plays got turned today.

“They're doing it on both ends. They're scoring runs and playing great defense so it makes my job a lot easier.”

After Perrin worked six innings and allowed one run on seven hits while striking out four, the Cowboys turned to three relievers – Tyler Nurdin, Remey Reed and Koda Glover – who each worked one scoreless frame to seal the win.

OSU now eyes the second Big 12 Championship tourney title in program history; the Cowboys won the trophy in 2004. A year ago, Holliday's club lost to TCU in the tourney final.

“It sets up great,” Holliday said. “You never complain about a chance to play for a championship, and you never complain about an opportunity to stay together and continue to play. We're aware that each day we are wearing our uniform together is meaningful, especially this time of year where you're not simply guaranteed to do this forever.

“We'll come out tomorrow with a good mindset. We'll be aggressive and stay very true to our approach from day one, which is to not let what is supposedly riding on a game change how we play. We do that, we'd be foolish.

“Oklahoma State vs. Texas – it has a good sound to it.”

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