STILLWATER – The game didn’t count in the Big 12 standings, yet as a Bedlam clash, it mattered plenty in the two dugouts, even as the innings and the hours piled up Tuesday night.
“You saw both pitching staffs stretch pretty deep,” Cowboys coach Josh Holliday said. “You saw the kids fighting like crazy on both sides.
“Two very competitive teams that just left it all on the field. Lots of moments up and down the line for both teams.”
Oklahoma enjoyed the ultimate moment: a 12-9 win secured in the 18th inning after nearly six hours at Reynolds Stadium.
“A good character win,” said Sooners coach Pete Hughes. “This is something you can build off, that’s for sure.
“We needed that.”
For OU, it was much needed, after entering on a four-game losing streak and owning a 9-4 lead on the Cowboys heading into the eighth inning.
For OSU, it marked an end to a five-game winning streak that pushed the Cowboys as high as No. 13 in the national rankings.
For the two teams, and their fans, it’s an appetite-whetting way to set up their Big 12 series next month.
“Even though we lost the score, I thought we won in a lot of ways,” Holliday said. “Just the spirit to compete and the will to fight back. Just a great ball game.
“Our kids were amazing to fight back the way they did. And their kids responded, too. I give them a lot of credit, they’re a quality team. We have a quality team. It was just a classic game for everyone who was here to see it.”
The teams combined to use 16 pitchers and 27 position players, bang out 33 hits, strand 35 runners on base and total 138 official at-bats in a contest that lasted 5:52.
It goes down as the longest Bedlam game in history by innings – easily besting the 14 innings played in Tulsa in 2002 – and the longest game ever at Reynolds Stadium.
The Sooners hadn’t scored in 11 innings and had barely threatened over that span when they struck for a two-out rally in the 18th. It started with a walk to Austin O’Brien, before Kolbey Carpenter delivered the big hit with a double into the left-field corner. Hector Lorenzana and Craig Akin added run-scoring singles.
That ended a long stretch of zeroes on the scoreboard in a game of occasional bursts.
The Cowboys, already with 15 come-from-behind wins, managed but one run in the second through seventh innings, then struck for five in the final two to force extra innings.
In the eighth, they got three runs on two hits, with a wild pitch and an error doing the most damage off OU closer Ralph Garza Jr., pulling the Pokes close at 9-7.
Against Garza – who ranks third in the Big 12 with seven saves – OSU struck for two more in the ninth to extend the game, getting a double from Tanner Krietemeier, singles by Gage Green and Zach Fish and a run-scoring groundout from Ryan Sluder.
The Sooners built a big early lead off Cowboys starter Garrett Williams, who didn’t last long.
A single, a sacrifice and two walks preceded an O’Brien blast, a grand slam out to left field that staked the Sooners to an immediate 4-0 lead in the first. OSU rallied for three runs in their half of the first, only to see OU add four more runs to push its lead to 8-3.
Up next – the Sooners return home to host West Virginia in a Big 12 series at Mitchell Park. The opener with the Mountaineers is set for Thursday at 6 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. start Friday and a noon finale Saturday. The Cowboys are also home this weekend, facing Kansas. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Bedlam, Continued… the stakes will be raised when the Cowboys and Sooners meet next in a Big 12 regular season-ending series May 15-17.
This year, the teams open in Oklahoma City at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Thursday, before the series shifts to Tulsa’s ONEOK Field Friday and Saturday.