College baseball: Too much Bedlam baseball?

The Bedlam series hasn’t even gotten real yet, with three Big 12 games coming next month. If things spun just right, OU and OSU could conceivably face off 10 times, with potential meetings in the Big 12 Tournament and the Super Regional round of the postseason.
by John Helsley Published: April 17, 2014
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                 OU's Hector Lorenzana, left, slides home past OSU's Gage Green in the 18th inning of the Sooners’ 12-9 nonconference win on Tuesday night is Stillwater. 
                   
                 
                 
                   Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
OU's Hector Lorenzana, left, slides home past OSU's Gage Green in the 18th inning of the Sooners’ 12-9 nonconference win on Tuesday night is Stillwater. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Josh Holliday wasn’t all that crazy about this fully expanded Bedlam series. And that was before the Cowboys and Sooners went 18 innings in Game 2 of a scheduled five contests Tuesday.

… and early Wednesday.

It became a near six-hour game that essentially was a non-stop doubleheader. And because it was Bedlam, neither side was about to relent, pushing their pitching staffs even with important Big 12 series looming.

Bottom line: that’s a lot of baseball for one night, especially when pitting archrivals.

And the Bedlam series hasn’t even gotten real yet, with three Big 12 games coming next month. If things spun just right, OU and OSU could conceivably face off 10 times, with potential meetings in the Big 12 Tournament and the Super Regional round of the postseason.

Bonus Bedlam is nice. But is there such a thing as too much Bedlam, especially within the confines of a 60ish game season?

The Yankees and Red Sox play each other 19 times… in a 162-game schedule.

“it’s just a lot of competition against anyone, let alone in your own state, where you have a rivalry built the quality of ours,” said Holliday, the Cowboys coach. “What ends up happening is you get a little bit over-familiar with one another.”

OU coach Pete Hughes agrees.

“I think five games is too much, and so does Coach Holliday,” Hughes said. “We’ve agreed to alternate campuses every other year and just play four games.”

That adjusted scheduling will begin in 2015. And if you’re wondering why the coaches ever agreed to five games, the current makeup actually resulted from a push from former Sooners coach Sunny Golloway.

On the surface, it’s a solid idea. Every year, each team gets a Bedlam home game. And a guaranteed good crowd, which both sides enjoyed this season, even with the road team winning each time.

But let’s not forget, Bedlam is played with an edge. And the series features some rather salty history.

“The three games are intense as it is,” said Holliday, “especially when the conference standings are involved.”

Holliday can call on some background, both as a player and assistant and now head coach in this series, and from other experiences.


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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