STILLWATER – Oklahoma State added some bounce from its first Bedlam game and has been bopping along ever since.
Oklahoma looks to Bedlam’s Game 2, set for Tuesday night in Stillwater, as a bounce back.
First pitch is 6:30 at Reynolds Stadium.
The on-campus games in the expanded season series don’t count in the Big 12 standings, yet still loom as significant. They are, after all, still Bedlam games.
“We enjoyed the competition down there, for sure,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday.
Enjoyed a 3-1 road win, too, perhaps stoking a current stretch that has seen the Cowboys win nine of their last 10, including a weekend sweep at West Virginia that has them as high as No. 13 in the national rankings.
“They’ve all been kind of different little sparks for us, really,” Holliday said. “Each game, each trip, each week has kind of been a new chapter of our team kind of stepping forward.”
The Sooners, meanwhile, have been striding backward.
Including the loss to the Cowboys, OU has dropped six of nine and four straight, the last three over the weekend to Texas in what shaped up as a potential statement series at Mitchell Park. The Longhorns, alone atop the Big 12 standings, won 10-8 in 10 innings Friday night, before hammering out 7-2 and 8-1 verdicts Saturday and Sunday.
“They made more plays than we did,” said Sooners center fielder Craig Akin. “We have to bounce back from this.”
The Sooners, falling from all of the major rankings, are now 23-14 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12.
The Cowboys’ surge has lifted them to 26-10 and 8-4, up to second in the conference standings. They’re also climbing in the rankings, found in three of the four polls, absent from only the Baseball America rankings.
One key to OSU’s improved play: hitting.
After scrapping for runs for weeks, the Cowboys seem to be coming around at the plate. During a current five-game winning streak, they’ve averaged 7.4 runs, after scoring as many as seven runs only twice in their previous 14 games.
“I think some of our guys are starting to heat up and get comfortable and confident,” Holliday said. “I’m proud of the progress we’re making.
“By no means are we where we want to be, but we are continuing to get better. And that’s a real positive.”
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