Big 12 baseball: Bedlam is just around the corner

First, however, there's business to handle for both OU and OSU. And how the Sooners and Cowboys go about their business this weekend will go a long way in setting up the bigness of Bedlam 2013.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: May 2, 2013
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Bedlam looms, with visions of Jonathan Gray fastballs and that pencil protruding from Sunny Golloway's ball cap. Of Josh Holliday's return and Pistol Pete dancing a jig on the OU dugout.

Of stirred emotions that once led to beanballs and brawls and still carry promise for developing new series heroes and memories.

Yes, Bedlam — finally — looms … next week.

First, however, there's business for both clubs. And how the Sooners and Cowboys go about their business this weekend will go a long way in setting up the bigness of Bedlam 2013.

For Oklahoma, clinging to a percentage-points lead over Baylor and others in the Big 12 standings, this weekend comes with uncertainty: a maiden journey to West Virginia, where the Mountaineers are bucking perception to remain in the race for the conference championship.

A unanimous choice for last place in the league, West Virginia (9-6) sits but one game back of the Sooners (10-5) in the league. The Mountaineers may have an answer for Gray, too, with left-hander Harrison Musgrave carrying back-to-back, Friday-night shutouts and a six-game winning streak into Friday night's opener.

“We played them last year and I thought they had a nice club,” Golloway said. “They were short in just a few areas. So their playing well doesn't really surprise me.

“And when you're expected to finish dead last, you really don't have any pressure on you. I'm excited about this trip.”

Despite the low outside expectations, the Mountaineers have won three of five Big 12 series, including their last two: at Texas and then back home, where they swept previously hot Kansas last weekend.

Golloway welcomed a dose of good news this week, when No. 2 starter Dillon Overton was cleared to pitch Saturday, making a rapid recovery from a concerning elbow injury. And with former reliever Jake Fisher now slotted for a Sunday start, after his outstanding turn as a fill-in for Overton last week, OU's rotation again has a formidable look.



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