NORMAN — Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday was hoping for good things out of Tyler Nurdin on Tuesday in a non-conference Bedlam game.
Holliday not only wanted it for the boost a win over the Cowboys’ in-state rivals could provide, but for a confidence boost for Nurdin, who hadn’t pitched in more than two weeks with a combination of arm soreness and illness.
Holliday got both, with Nurdin throwing five innings and giving up just one run as OSU came out with a 3-1 win in front of 1,941 fans at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
“I know I’m always one pitch away from getting out of a jam,” Nurdin said. “That was my mindset.”
The crowd was Oklahoma’s biggest of the season, home or away.
The teams will meet in Stillwater for another non-conference game April 15.
The Cowboys got all the runs they needed in the second when Gage Green and Tim Arakawa each delivered solo home runs to right field off of Sooners starter Robert Tasin.
“I was just trying to find my way on base any way that I could,” Arakawa said. “He brought the ball in and I got my barrel on it.”
The home runs were the first of the season for both.
“That’s kind of what’s fun about this environment,” Holliday said. “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.”
The Cowboys (20-9) didn’t have much after that, though.
OSU pushed across a run in the sixth when Arakawa beat out a potential inning-ending double play ball, allowing Aaron Cornell to score.
The Cowboys had the leadoff hitter on base in each of the first four innings but scored just once — on Green’s solo shot.
But OSU didn’t need much against the Sooners (20-10).
In the third, OU’s Craig Aikin scored on a passed ball after being moved to third on a single by Hunter Haley, but the Sooners didn’t get another hit until Anthony Hermelyn’s two-out single in the eighth.
“They were pitching us backwards,” OU’s Hector Lorenzana said. “They pretty much started almost every (at-bat) with an offspeed pitch. We swung at some bad pitches. We hit the ball hard on some turns but we hit them right to them.”
Only three of Oklahoma’s base runners made it with less than two outs.
“They are going out there and they are having confidence in what pitch is being called and what pitch is being thrown,” Arakawa said of the Cowboys’ pitchers. “We’re playing some pretty good defense behind them.
“It’s fun playing behind them when they are pounding the strike zone.”