Nothing is set in stone for the Bedlam series moving forward, but it appears as if changes will be made in the scheduling next season.
This year, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State play five times — non-conference, mid-week games at each on-campus venue, one conference game in Oklahoma City and a pair in Tulsa.
This year’s conference series began Thursday night with a 4-2 Cowboys win at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
It’s likely the series will be whittled down somewhat, though one game is likely to remain at a campus venue, whether that’s part of the Big 12 series or not.
“We’ll visit at the end of the year,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “I like Coach (Pete) Hughes a lot. He’s a good man, and I like talking to him. They have a good administration and so do we. Whatever is best for this baseball setup, we’ll continue to look at it.”
Holliday and former Sooners coach Sunny Golloway decided to add another non-conference meeting for this season to help boost each team’s RPI, but with another Bedlam meeting likely in next week’s conference tournament, neither side wants the series to become too watered-down either.
The series resumes Friday with the first of two games at Tulsa’s ONEOK Field. Reserved seats for the two games in Tulsa — a shift from two games in Oklahoma City in previous seasons — are sold out.
“The energy will be good for us, and that’s why we do this series the way that we do,” Holliday said. “We take it to the people, and the people come out and enjoy it.”
Thursday’s announced attendance was 5,478.
PATIENCE PAYS OFF FOR COSTELLO
In the fifth inning, Oklahoma catcher Mac James was sure the Sooners had gotten out of a two-out jam when OSU’s Conor Costello watched a two-strike fastball go past.
“It was a helluva pitch,” James said. “He couldn’t have thrown it in a better spot. But that part of the game is up to umpires.”
The umpire called it a ball, and Costello turned on the next pitch and drove it into the left-field bleachers to put the Cowboys up 4-0.
“On a night like tonight, the park felt gigantic,” Holliday said. “I don’t know if it was the wind or the air, but it felt huge and it felt like scoring four runs was quite a bit so it gave us a cushion.”
Costello, who hit cleanup for just the fourth time in Big 12 play and eighth overall, wasn’t sure it would carry.
“I thought the wind was going to kind of hold it up since that wind change, but I guess it didn’t,” Costello said.
EVANS GIVES SOONERS PLENTY
It’s been an up-and-down road for OU starter Jacob Evans this season.
Thursday night, the sophomore turned in his best start of his career, going 61/3 innings and allowing four runs.
The three-run homer by Costello, though, proved to be too much.
“It was one pitch from being a completely different ballgame,” Evans said. “I felt good. I felt like I had all my stuff. I had a pretty good grip on my curveball tonight.”
It was the longest outing by a starter for the Sooners since Adam Choplick went seven against West Virginia on April 18.
“I thought that was his best performance in terms of composure, command of three pitches, controlling the tempo against a team that’s playing really well right now,” Hughes said. “He certainly pitched well enough to win and gave us a chance to win. He should feel real good about himself.”
BEDLAM RIVALS PLACE 16 ON ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each placed eight on the Academic All-Big 12 Team, announced Thursday by the league.
The Sooners have five on the first team while four Cowboys earned first-team honors.
OU’s first-teamers included seniors Kyle Hayes, Drew Krittenbrink and Dylan Neal and juniors Tyler Alspaugh and Robert Tasin.
Oklahoma State senior Mark Robinette, juniors Gage Green and Jon Perrin and sophomore Conor Costello were named to the first team.
The second team includes OU junior Mac James and sophomores Jacob Evans and Hunter Haley. OSU’s second-teamers were seniors Aaron Cornell and Heath Holliday and sophomores Alex Hackerott and Corey Hassel.
Green, Robinette and Perrin are on the team for the second consecutive season while Cornell was a first-team honoree in 2013.
Oklahoma’s eight honorees are all first-time recipients of the award.
The Sooners had their most academic all-conference honorees since nine OU players earned the honors in 2003.
CORNELL PLAY FIRES UP COWBOYS
Oklahoma had a tough time putting together scoring chances on OSU starter Perrin, but it looked like they’d have a golden one in the sixth when Craig Aiken started the inning by roping one into the left-field corner.
But Aaron Cornell quickly dug the ball out and fired to second to cut down Aiken.
“A momentum-changing play,” Holliday said. “It just takes the wind out of their sails. It gives us a huge lift ...I think he (Perrin) felt it.”