Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will play a Game 7 at 7 p.m. Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, and it’s win or go home — though not in the traditional sense.
It’s a Bedlam elimination game in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament, and it’s also the seventh time the rivals will meet this season. OSU leads the season series 4-2, including a 13-4 win against the Sooners in Wednesday’s tournament opener.
“For us it’s familiarity,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “It’s kind of like playing pickup basketball against your buddies growing up. You know their moves, you just wonder if they’re going to keep doing the same moves or try something different. It’s the same for us.”
AIKIN HOT FOR SOONERS
No one has been hotter over the first two days of the Big 12 Tournament than Oklahoma center fielder Craig Aikin.
After going 4-for-5 in the Sooners’ opening-round loss to Oklahoma State, Aikin had a 4-for-6 day in Thursday’s 9-8, come-from-behind win against Texas Tech.
Aikin drove in a run with his sixth-inning single, scored after his eighth-inning single and then drove in another in the ninth before eventually scoring the game-winning run.
“I’m not thinking about numbers at all at this point,” Aikin said. “I get runners on base, I’m trying to drive them in, try to set the table for the team.
“At the end of the day, numbers don’t matter to me, but the ball seems pretty big. I feel confident I can find my way to first base any way I can.”
Aikin is hitting .510 (26 of 51) in his current 11-game hitting streak with eight RBIs and 11 runs scored.
BAYLOR’S MICHALEC BREAKS SAVES RECORD
Baylor’s Josh Michalec entered this season without a career save. Now he’s a record-holder.
Michalec earned his 21st save of the year Thursday in Baylor’s 4-3 win against Kansas. With that, he passed former Oklahoma closer Jeff Bajenaru for the single-season Big 12 record.
“Every coach in this league wants to have a guy like Josh to close the game out,” BU coach Steve Smith said. “It’s a lot easier to start one than it is to finish one. Going into the season, he didn’t have a single career save. That’s what makes what he has done so incredible to me. He has been a work in progress over four years and he has continued to grow.”
Michalec only has one blown save this season, and 10 of his saves came in multi-inning efforts.
LONGHORNS’ PAYTON EXTENDS STREAK TO 93
Texas’ Mark Payton reached base for a 93rd consecutive game on Thursday, tying the Big 12 record set by Kansas State’s Nick Martini (2009-11).
The senior ripped a first-inning single to right field off Oklahoma State’s Jon Perrin to extend the streak. Payton is also second in school history in games started (220) and triples (19).
MAZEY KNOWS ALL ABOUT TCU ACE
West Virginia coach Randy Mazey knows TCU right-hander Preston Morrison all too well.
Before going to WVU in 2013, Mazey served as associate head coach at TCU, where he discovered and recruited an overlooked kid named Preston Morrison.
In 2012, Morrison was the Mountain West Freshman of the Year under Mazey’s watch. Thursday, Morrison threw a complete game against his old coach and helped TCU to a 6-2 win against the Mountaineers.
“You have an approach going into every game that, in theory, you really, really like,” Mazey said. “You think this is the way to beat this guy … Well, he trashes your approach. He just trashes it.
“It’s a great story of a guy who nobody gave much credit out of high school, a guy who doesn’t throw very hard but really knows how to pitch. It’s tough to be on the other side watching him.”
Baylor coach Steve Smith on Kansas’s NCAA Tournament chances (BU eliminated KU with a 4-3 win Thursday): “If they didn’t make it, it wouldn’t be a slap at Kansas, it would be a slap at the league. A year ago West Virginia finished third and didn’t get it. Then it became about their RPI. The committee doesn’t have an excuse on Kansas. I really believe strongly that the regular season is the body of work by which you judge a team being worthy or not.”
Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock’s opening statement after losing to Oklahoma: “I don’t have anything to say. Any questions?”
Cody Stavenhagen contribued to this report