TULSA — Oklahoma senior Kindle Ladd had been plenty comfortable on the mound against Oklahoma State all year.
Four first-inning runs Saturday in the regular-season finale helped Ladd settle in even more comfortably and Ladd kept up his strong performances in Bedlam to help the Sooners come out with an 8-1 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,709 at ONEOK Field.
The Sooners’ win snapped Oklahoma State’s 12-game winning streak and broke a three-game losing streak for OU.
In three appearances against the Cowboys this year, Ladd has given up just one run in 12 innings.
Saturday, Ladd allowed a run and four hits in five innings for the win.
“I thought he changed speeds real well and worked fast,” Cowboys coach Josh Holliday said. “He did a nice job of putting the ball where he wanted it. He had a good game plan.
“The kid knows what he’s going out there and is a very good competitor.”
After playing five times during the regular season, the teams are plenty familiar with each other and will get another shot at 4 p.m. Wednesday when the teams open up the Big 12 Tournament against each other at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
OSU leads the season series 3-2.
“It’s Game 6, we’ve got to try to force a Game 7, right?” Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes said. “That’s the downside of playing them five times and then the luck of the draw you get them in the Big 12 Tournament.”
The Sooners, though, have matched up well against the Cowboys.
While OU’s pitching staff has struggled for long stretches this season, they were sharp in the three-game conference series despite dropping two of three.
In the three games, Oklahoma pitchers gave up just seven runs overall (six earned) and walked just nine.
“I know that you can have success against Oklahoma State if you can throw a ton of strikes,” Hughes said. “Their major weapon offensively is the walk so if you don’t go out there and beat yourself and you make your pitches and you don’t beat yourself and you just pound the zone, you have a chance.”