Oklahoma's Matt Oberste dropped a soft liner in front of Southern Cal third baseman Kevin Swick, then took off down the line.
With the bases loaded, teammate Jack Mayfield was hustling, too, digging from first base.
Swick hesitated, wanting to throw to second, but recognizing Mayfield would make it close, fired instead to first — late.
And Oberste's streak, while just halfway to the school-record-tying 27 games entering Thursday night's game against Kansas, was alive.
The anatomy of any long hitting streak — and this one ranks at the top in the Sooners' strong history, alongside Marty Neff — reveals a bloop or a break or two. Still, this streak isn't built on soft stuff. Far from it.
Oberste's .476 batting average led the nation this week. And his hitting stats dominate the Big 12, where he ranked first in hits (50), runs (27), home runs (7), runs batted in (34), total bases (82), on-base percentage (.544) and slugging percentage (.819), and ranked second in triples (3) and tied for second in doubles (9) before Thursday.
Former Oklahoma State star Robin Ventura holds the NCAA Division I record for consecutive games with a hit at 58, set in 1987. Florida International's Garrett Wittels gave it a run two years ago, finishing at 56.
“I'm having a lot of fun,” said Oberste, a junior first baseman from Sallisaw. “So is my team; they're supporting me with all of it.
“Honestly, I couldn't do it without them, because they're behind me all the way and they're doing little things no one else sees for me to get me where I am right now.”
Little things like Mayfield hustling or guys extending at-bats or games to get Oberste back to the plate. Or doing damage, preventing teams from pitching around him.
“The whole lineup in front of me and behind me is doing a great job of protecting me,” Oberste said. “I couldn't ask for anything more.”
The Sooners couldn't ask for more, either.
Cowboys Exceeding Expectations
Josh Holliday wasn't sure what to expect in his first season as coach at Oklahoma State.
Wasn't sure what he had, exactly.
So far, so good.
The Cowboys entered Thursday night's series opener against Texas with 19 wins and ranked as high as No. 18, after being picked for fifth place in the Big 12 preseason poll of coaches.
“There were so many unknowns for us,” Holliday said. “I didn't know really where we were. I didn't have enough of a feel for each player to gauge where we would be. I was optimistic, because like any coach you start to grow to appreciate your players and really love on them and see what they're capable of.
“But the question always is, ‘How will we respond when the games start?' And I think we've responded very well.”
The Cowboys have responded in the clutch, too, with nine comeback wins, including three walk-offs, with two of those coming in the 10th inning.
The winning — and the way in which they're winning — has bolstered the club's confidence.
“It creates believability inside your locker room that you're never out of a game,” Holliday said. “It creates believability inside your kids' heads that those close games will go your way, instead of against you. That's the process of learning to win.
“There's conditions of winning. And there's conditions of losing. And you condition yourself to believe how you're going to make the game go your way, instead of waiting for it to go against you.”
Jason Hursh has developed into the ace the Cowboys needed, while Vince Wheeland has thrived in a flex role on the pitching staff. The lineup has been strong, with Tanner Krietemeier and Zach Fish providing punch to the middle of the order.
It's a big weekend for OSU, with the Longhorns in Stillwater for the Cowboys' second conference home series already. After this, the schedule toughens, with just seven games at Reynolds Stadium in April and May.
Still, the Cowboys seem to have a foundation of winning in place.
“I wouldn't sit here and say that I'm super comfortable and everything's wonderful, because every coach knows you better keep getting better,” Holliday said. “It's a long year. There's plenty of time for the game to come back and get you.
“But to this point, have the players done the things you would hope for? Heck yes. I'm proud of them.”