Oklahoma came out on top in the Bedlam series matchup between the Sooners and the Cowboys of Oklahoma State in both football and men’s basketball, but game one in the five-game baseball series this season between the two in-state rivals went the way of the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State (20-9, 3-3) got solo home runs in the second inning from catcher Gage Green and second-baseman Tim Arakawa, and that was all the No. 23-ranked Cowboys would need in downing the Sooners 3-1 on Tuesday in a nonconference game at OU’s L. Dale Mitchell Park. The two teams play two nonconference games this season – the second is scheduled for April 15 in Stillwater – and three games in May (two in Tulsa and one on Oklahoma City) that will count in the conference standings.
Cowboys’ starter, left-hander Tyler Nurdin, pitched five sharp innings, yielding just two hits and one earned run. OSU head coach Josh Holliday was pleased with the performance of Nurdin, who had not pitched in two weeks. Oklahoma starter Robert Tasin took the loss. Tasin went four and one-third innings and struck out seven, but gave up the two home runs in the second that were the decisive blows in the game.
The home runs by Green and Arakawa, both juniors, were their first of the season.
“That’s kind of what’s fun about this environment,” Holliday said to reporters after the game. “A Bedlam game gives guys a chance to do something in a moment, in a setting that they’ll never forget, and those two guys probably feel like a million bucks right now.”
All the other big 12 schools were in action on Tuesday. West Virginia, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor and TCU were all winners against nonconference opponents. Kansas State was the only team other than Oklahoma to go down with a loss on Tuesday. The Wildcats suffered a one-run road defeat to Omaha.
The most significant of the Big 12 wins on Tuesday was Texas’ 5-2 victory over 14th-ranked Rice. The Longhorns checked in at No. 11 this week in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Longhorns scored three times in the sixth on three hits and two costly errors by Rice to break up a close game and give Texas a commanding four-run lead. The Horns also got terrific pitching from starter Lukas Schiraldi, who went six and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs on five hits.
Big 12 Baseball Power Rankings – Week of March 31
- Texas Longhorns – Big home series with Baylor coming up this weekend. Has gone 3-1 this season against top-25 teams.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys – Preseason favorite of yours truly. Only 1-3 against top-25 competition, but a chance to improve on that this weekend vs. Texas Tech.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders – Already a third of the way through their Big 12 schedule, the Red Raiders are a modest 4-5 in the Big 12 but 7-4 against top-25 teams.
- Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners are 4-2 in the league against both Kansas teams, but this is not one of their best teams, although still very dangerous.
- Kansas State Wildcats – Preseason favorite of the conference coaches to repeat in 2014, but got off to a horrendous 1-7 start. The Cats have gone 16-3 since. Three home games vs. Kansas this weekend.
- West Virginia Mountaineers – On a three-game roll and undefeated in the conference after two games. How well they perform at TCU this weekend will give us a better read.
- Baylor Bears – In the midst of a four-game losing streak. This weekend’s matchup at Texas may not be the best remedy for the Bear’s immediate ails, though.
- Kansas Jayhawks – Surprised everyone with an 11-1 start to the season, but the Jayhawks came back to the flock during the month of March.
- TCU Horned Frogs – Next to the Jayhawks, TCU is the next biggest surprise of the season. The Horned Frogs are just 15-12 overall, 2-4 in the Big 12 and 2-6 in games against top-25 teams.