Big 12 baseball notebook: Sunny Golloway says OU playing its best

Oklahoma ended its regular season with a thud, losing nine of its last 12 games. But after Saturday's 7-6, 11-inning victory over K-State, Oklahoma enters Sunday's Big 12 Tournament title game on a three-game winning streak.
by Ryan Aber and John Helsley and Jason Kersey Published: May 25, 2013
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WVU'S RICE ENJOYS ‘COOL' MOMENT

Jacob Rice drove in one run against Oklahoma State. The big one — an RBI single that came in the bottom of the 10th inning and scored the game-winning run for West Virginia.

“I love that situation,” said Rice, a Tulsa Union product.

The Mountaineers left fielder said that every kid dreams of being in that spot. And with a runner on second and facing a 1-2 count, Rice drilled a pitch from Brendan McCurry to right field and Bobby Boyd raced home to score.

“I've got a lot of family here,” Rice said. “It's great to play in front of them. It's pretty cool.”

BAYLOR FINISHES ROUGH SEASON

A few days before Baylor's first game, expected opening day starting pitcher Brad Kuntz was lost for the season with a back injury.

The rough year ended with Saturday's 8-2 Big 12 Tournament loss to Texas Tech. Baylor (27-28) lost eight of its last 10 games, including all three of its Big 12 tourney contests this week.

“When your season starts and the week before the first game, your (opening) night guy has two broken bones in his back, that's not a good way to start,” said Bears coach Steve Smith.

“Been trying to piece it together, and I think we did a decent job of that. We weren't very good this year on the road, particularly in the league.”

Baylor was briefly in first place in the Big 12 standings midway through April after taking two of three games in their home series with Oklahoma, but lost went 8-11 the rest of the year.

OU'S ALSPAUGH MAKES PRESENCE KNOWN

It's not that Kansas State couldn't get hits through the first eight innings, but that the Wildcats couldn't manage any timely hits against Oklahoma.

Still, it looked like Kansas State had finally broken through in the seventh when Shane Conlon ripped a ball into deep right field after the Wildcats got the first two runners aboard in the inning.

Except Taylor Alspaugh, who had started just two games coming into the tournament, chased down Conlon's drive just as he hit the wall to likely save two runs.

Kindle Ladd forced the next batter to ground into a double play to end the threat.

“How about that catch out there?” Golloway said. “I'm going to go back and watch it on the highlights. I didn't see it. I got blocked. That ball was crushed.”

Alspaugh was elevated into the starting lineup recently when Hunter Haley went down high a high-ankle sprain.

QUOTABLE

Golloway on Kansas State, which now awaits its NCAA fate after losing Saturday to the Sooners: “The last thing I want is that loss — which I don't think it will — to shake them. Because at this point, once we leave this tournament, we want everybody in the conference to do really well. We want representation down the road, Super Regionals. We've got to get back to Omaha.”


by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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