College baseball: Championship-minded Cowboys must first deal with Oklahoma

No team in the land wants to ruin the Cowboys’ Big 12 title plans more than the Sooners.
by John Helsley Modified: May 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014
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The Cowboys long considered themselves Big 12 championship worthy.

Considered it.

“That was kind of what our goal was,” said senior outfielder Saulyer Saxon, “we thought we were a championship-caliber team at the beginning of the season.”

Kind of.

Thought.

Because, let’s face it, it’d been a long time since Oklahoma State won a regular season conference baseball championship. Dating-back-to-Gary Ward long. Never-in-the-Big 12 long.

Well, erase the doubt – the Cowboys sure have – sitting atop the Big 12 standings entering the final weekend, with a magic number of 2 for clinching at least a share of the title, while also owning the tiebreaker with second-place TCU.

“To see that goal come around, that would be awesome,” Saxon said. “And I think it would be huge for the program. I mean, it’s headed in the right direction, obviously. And I think it’s only going to get better.”

Ah, yet consider who stands in the way.

Yes, it’s the Big 12’s eighth-place team, but not just any eighth-place team. It’s Oklahoma.

Bedlam.

Big ballparks and flowing brews.

Lost popups and dramatic long balls.

Bad blood and… more bad blood.

Bedlam, beginning Thursday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, then shifting to Tulsa’s ONEOK Field for Friday and Saturday games.

And yes, it’s Bedlam, even if the Sooners are lagging in the standings. Think they wouldn’t like to derail the Cowboys’ dogpile?

“Absolutely,” said OU center fielder Craig Aikin. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking, ‘If we could win two out of three and TCU takes care of business, or if we come in there and sweep, they can’t dogpile — even if they win the conference.’

“You can’t dogpile after a loss.”

OU shortstop Sheldon Neuse might be a freshman, but he’s finely tuned to the rivalry and what it means.

“We don’t want them to win it,” Neuse said. “Anything we can do to keep that from happening, we’ll do. We’re gonna try to get a sweep.”

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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