Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 13, 2013

Sooners salvage final game of Bedlam series

Oklahoma rallies from 4-run deficit to avoid Bedlam sweep against Oklahoma State.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Everything that doomed Oklahoma in the Bedlam series’ first two games, was erased Sunday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The Sooners avoided the sweep against Oklahoma State with a 5-4 victory. This one, which snapped a season-high four-game losing streak, came under tough circumstances.

OU won despite an early four-run deficit and rocky start from one of the pillars of its pitching staff.

“We’ve got a motto about being mentally tough, and I believe that’s what wins in college baseball,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “It doesn’t necessarily win every day, but it will over the long haul.”

Dillon Overton, who made his first start since April 20 due elbow inflammation, threw a season low throw four innings. He also gave up all four runs on eight hits.

Most games, that would have been a knockout blow. The Sooners were 10-2 in the prior games Overton had started. They scored three runs or less in both those games.

OU’s bullpen, got some timely hits and some breaks were the difference in the game.

Kyle Hayes, Ralph Garza, who picked up the win to improve to 4-0, and Jacob Evans, who threw the final two innings to get his ninth save, held the Cowboys (36-13, 11-9 Big 12) scoreless over the final five innings.

“Credit OU, they played a much better fifth-sixth-seventh-eighth-ninth inning than we did,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “Obviously, they deserved that win.”

The Sooners (35-16, 12-9) had to have it. After falling into a tie for fourth in the Big 12 Conference after dropping a second straight 4-3 decision to Cowboys Saturday, OU jumped into a tie for second place with West Virginia in the league standings. Kansas State holds a two-game lead with three Big 12 games left. The Wildcats are against the Sooners and the series begins Friday in Manhattan, Kan.

OU has a chance to still win the league because it came up with some critical hits. Hector Lorenzana went 1 for 3, scored two runs and ran his Bedlam series RBI total to six with an RBI double in the fourth inning.

“I like getting put into pressure situations. I love hitting with runners on base because I normally clutch up. My goal is to score guys,” said Lorenzana, who went 5 for 11 in the series.

But the huge day came from designated hitter Kolbey Carpenter, who went 3 for 4 and drove in the tying run in the sixth inning.

The freshman, who missed five games last month to return to his hometown of West, Texas, to help with relief efforts after an explosion at a fertilizer plant left 14 dead and damaged half the town, also had an RBI single in the Sooners’ three-run fourth inning.

“I’m starting to see the ball a little better and I’m seeing it pretty good at the plate. Hopefully I can keep it up,” Carpenter said.

The breaks didn’t hurt either. OU threw out two OSU base runners at the plate. The last came in the top of the eighth inning when Aaron Cornell was thrown out trying to score from second base on a wild pitch. OSU coach Josh Holliday was ejected after arguing with home plate umpire Randy Wetzel after the call.

The other came in the fifth inning when OU right fielder Max White threw out Zach Fish trying to score on Robbie Rea’s single.

Vince Wheeland (8-1) took the loss. He entered in the fourth inning after OSU starter Mark Robinette abruptly ran out gas. He gave up three runs on four hits over 3 1-3 innings. Wheeland allowed two runs on two hits over 1 2-3 frames.

The Sooners still lost the series, but Sunday’s victory meant they avoided a complete disaster. Rallying from four runs down and showing composure after gaining the lead made it possible.

“We have to go into Kansas State and sweep to have a chance to win the conference,” Golloway said. “If you told these guys you’d have a chance to win the conference title the last weekend, there’s not a team in the league that would say they don’t want that.

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