Big 12 baseball: Sooners, Bears spill bad blood
Baylor coach Steve Smith says of OU: “Honestly, I like their team. I really do. I like most of their coaches. But I really like their team.”
As Saturday's OU-Baylor game played out, the two teams clearly became agitated with each other, with words exchanged to the point that Sooners' reserve relief pitcher Drew Harrison was ejected.
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Apparently, the game started with an edge, due to some carryover from OU's win over the Bears on Thursday. Sooners designated hitter Matt Oberste spiked emotions, when he paused long to admire home runs off Baylor pitcher Joey Hainsfurther, who might have instigated Thursday's chippy behavior with some chirping from the dugout.
“He had a good day,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said of Oberste. “Those guys were very ready to play. They were offended by some of the stuff they heard out of our dugout on Thursday. They let (Hainsfurther) know about it.”
After Oberste's second homer, a massive shot that landed in the parking garage beyond left field, Bears catcher Josh Ludy had words with Oberste. Later, OU's Jack Mayfield objected strongly after being tagged out hard on a bunt up the first-base line.
Afterward, Smith put a twist on things.
“Honestly, I like their team,” he said. “I really do. I like most of their coaches. But I really like their team.”
OU's players and coaches wouldn't bite.
“We're just playing baseball,” said Sooner center fielder Max White. “Right now, we're very comfortable with where we're at. The guys, we're just motivated. We want to win a Big 12 championship. We're just playing the game.”
Missouri ace Rob Zastryzny put what he thought was a nice cap on his sophomore season, throwing 81/3 scoreless innings in Wednesday's 5-0 win over Texas.
But the Tigers' sudden surge through the Big 12 Tournament has altered plans and, with his season on the line, MU coach Tim Jamieson will turn back to his lengthy left-hander.
Zastryzny will start Sunday's championship game against Oklahoma at 1 p.m.
“He's going to have to,” Jamieson said. “It's all hands on deck. We win, we keep playing. Last Big 12 Tournament we are going to play.”
Opposing Zastryzny will be Sooner flamethrower Damien Magnifico, who enters with a 3-1 record and 3.51 ERA.
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