OKLAHOMA CITY — The difference between a team that wins a conference title and those struggling to stay out of the cellar typically isn’t vast. It’s a matter of seizing the opportunities when they present themselves.
Oklahoma State pounced on its chance in the fifth inning and rode it to a 4-2 victory over Oklahoma in the opening game of the Bedlam series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
It was a matter of one pitch — a 2-2 offering from OU starter Jacob Evans to the Cowboys’ Conor Costello with a two on and two out.
“When you get two well-pitched games, the team that gets that big hit is going to be the difference in the end,” OU coach Pete Hughes said.
The Sooners (27-26, 7-15 Big 12) haven’t had many well-pitched games this season. They received one from Evans. The sophomore left-hander went 61⁄3 innings. He gave up eight hits, but struck out five.
The one pitch he wanted back was the belt-high pitch to Costello in the fifth inning.
“I felt good. I felt like I had all my stuff. I had a pretty good grip on my curveball tonight,” said Evans, who drooped to 3-5 with the loss. “It was one pitch from being a completely different ballgame.”
Costello deposited that 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall and gave the Cowboys a 4-0 lead.
Until the ball blasted off Costello’s bat, it was a tight game. OU thought it had Costello out on the prior pitch — an inside fastball, that froze him. Home-plate umpire Chris Coskey said it was too far inside.
“It was a helluva pitch,” said OU catcher Mac James, who went 2 for 4. “He couldn’t have thrown it in a better spot. But that part of the game is up to the umpires.”
OU’s only retort was two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Kolbey Carpenter scored on a wild pitch by OSU reliever Vince Wheeland and Craig Aikin scored on Sheldon Neuse’s sacrifice fly one batter later.