TULSA — Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Heaney talked earlier this week about setting a tone for the Bedlam baseball weekend.
Friday night at ONEOK Field, Heaney made it a tone of silence for the Sooners.
The Cowboys' Game 1 starter, Heaney allowed just three hits – all singles – and struck out seven in a dominant complete-game performance, sending OSU to a 3-0 win before an overflow crowd of 9,158.
Heaney didn't allow a baserunner over the final four innings and retired the final 13 OU batters in order. Only two Sooners reached as far as second base, both in the second inning, when the Cowboys left-hander worked out of his only real jam of the night.
Once the Cowboys broke through with two runs in the third, Heaney essentially cruised, limiting OU to two baserunners the rest of the way — both erased on double plays.
Was the tone set, in a series matching two teams scrambling to make a late-season statement toward postseason play?
“I hope so,” Heaney said. “When we score early, it lets the pitchers relax. I don't think it was a coincidence that the inning we scored, I started getting in a groove.
“It makes you comfortable when you can pitch with a lead, not worry about giving up a double in the gap or a home run or something like that. It sets a tone for the game, scoring first, but setting a tone for the series, too.”
The series shifts to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Saturday, with a 7:06 p.m. first pitch.
OSU, winners of nine straight, improved to 27-17 overall and 12-8 in the Big 12. OU dropped to 29-18 and 9-9.
A premium pitching matchup lived up to pre-game billing, with Sooners starter Jordan John a hard-luck loser. He, too, went the distance, scattering seven singles. But the Cowboys nicked him for a pair of two-out runs in the third, with Robbie Rea and Jared Womack delivering back-to-back, run-scoring singles. Hunter Bailey made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the fifth.
Otherwise, John was solid, striking out five and holding up his end opposite Heaney.
“That's Friday night in the Big 12,” said OU coach Sunny Golloway.
“In this environment, Jordan, Heaney… big-time pitchers pitch big-time.”
The Sooners, however, failed to produce any big-time hits. And they were quick to credit Heaney, who improved to 7-1 and lowered his earned run average to 1.50.
“He's pretty deceptive,” said OU center fielder Max White. “His slider is tough to pick up out of his hand.”
Heaney hadn't fared well in previous meetings with the Sooners since earning a save against them his freshman year. He'd been roughed up the past two seasons, including getting chased after eight hits and three runs in just 2 2/3 of last year's Bedlam finale.
But this is a different Heaney.
“Experience. It's just that,” Golloway said. “Heaney's going to be a first-rounder. People are speculating, I'm telling you right now, take it to the bank. Left-handers like that pitch for a long time. Left-handers like that pitch when they're 40.”
Heaney thrived in his first Tulsa assignment, after two rocky Bricktown starts against the Sooners.
“It's almost an honor to come out here and pitch Friday night,” he said. “Some of those guys I know, I've played with, they're from Oklahoma so it's fun to compete against them. It's just good to go out and get a win.
“It was fun. You want to be out there. I'm from Oklahoma. I want to be in front of my family, my friends, everybody who's here. It's fun, especially when your team plays well and the Oklahoma State fans are behind you.”