The Oklahoma Sooners prevented a disappointing weekend from becoming a complete disaster, rallying from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat Oklahoma State in a wild finale to Bedlam Sunday afternoon.
With the win, OU helped its NCAA tournament chances after putting them in jeopardy by losing the first two games of the series. The Sooners have a midweek game against Dallas Baptist before travelling to take on Kansas State in the final series of the season before the conference tournament.
A series win against the Wildcats would be a huge boost to the Sooners' tournament hopes since Kansas State currently sits in first place in the Big 12.
Oklahoma State closes with a trip to Wichita State this week and a home series against West Virginia this weekend. Like the Sooners, the Cowboys would need a series win to really begin feeling confident about their tournament chances.
The Sooners got the benefit of two close calls at the plate Sunday, including one in the top of the eighth inning with the Sooners clinging to a one-run lead.
After advancing to second base following his one-out single and a groundout, OSU's Aaron Cornell stole third base. But on the play, OU pitcher Jacob Evans uncorked a wild pitch, and Cornell raced for home. He slid into the plate but was tagged out by Evans after catcher Anthony Hermelyn tracked down the ball and threw home.
The bang-bang play prompted Cowboys coach Josh Holliday to argue vehemently with home plate umpire Ron Wetzel, who promptly ejected Holliday. The action continued into the stands, where security had to remove several fans of both teams.
Ralph Garza picked up the win for the Sooners in relief while Jacob Evans got his ninth save of the year. Vince Wheeland took the loss for OSU, his first of the season after entering the game with an 8-0 record.
Holliday's squad jumped out to an early 4-0 lead against OU southpaw Dillon Overton, scoring twice in both the second and third innings.
In the second, the Cowboys got a two-out, two-RBI single from Craig McConaughy, who started the game at shortstop in place of an injured Randy McCurry, to take a 2-0 advantage.
The third inning opened with Donnie Walton and Tanner Krietemeier collecting singles, and a sacrifice fly by Robbie Rea plated OSU's third run. Gage Green followed with a bunt single that scored Krietemeier to put the Cowboys up, 4-0.
But that would be all the runs Holliday's club managed, despite the Cowboys outhitting OU by a 12-8 margin.
Craig Aikin led off the fourth with a base on balls. Max White doubled down the left field line and then Aikin scored after OSU starter Mark Robinette threw a wild pitch to Hector Lorenzana.
Lorenzana later doubled to plate White and then scored from a Kolbey Carpenter single.
Matt Oberste reached first on a wide throw by McConaughy and Lorenzana walked to begin the bottom of the sixth. Oberste scored after Carpenter's line drive grazed off Walton's glove and rolled into right field.
Lorenzana scored to go-ahead run when Garrett Carey hit into a double play.