The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 24, 2014

Cowboys eliminate Sooners

OKLAHOMA CITY — Perhaps it was fitting that Round 7 of Bedlam stretched into Saturday morning. A two-hour rain delay pushed the start past 9 p.m. The teams had already played 63 innings against each other prior to the Big 12 tournament elimination game.

This one, however, was the last one. The Sooners’ Big 12 tournament run and season ended with an 11-8 loss to the Cowboys at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

No matter how much OU scrapped — and it did with 12 hits and twice rallying from deficits in the middle innings — it could not overcome its season-long flaws.

The Sooners (29-29) committed three errors and allowed two unearned runs. The Cowboys (43-15 had no errors and no unearned runs allowed.

“Tremendous college baseball game between two tough programs that battled,” OU coach Pete Hughes said. “That was a game that went back and forth with a lot of ups and downs. In the end, the team that played better defense and got the big hit won; that’s what usually happens.”

The big hit came from OSU’s Aaron Cornell in the top of the eighth inning. The left-fielder, who entered the game hitting just .237 on the season, belted a three-run homer off OU reliever Sheldon Neuse for the game-winning margin. He came to the plate because OU shortstop Hector Lorenzana committed an error to start the frame.

It was OU’s last error of the night, running their season total to 91 this season.

OU starting pitcher Adam Choplick struck out eight over five innings but issued six walks and hit two batters. Neither he nor OSU starter Tyler Buffett factored in the decision.

The loss went to OU reliever Jeffrey Curran (0-2). He allowed two runs on two hits over the sixth and seventh innings and was lifted after Walton reached the error to start the eighth.

Alex Hackerott (4-1) picked up the win. He only got two outs in the seventh inning, but he extinguished an OU rally that had tied the game at 8. Randy McCurry got the last six outs to get his 17th save of the season.

The Cowboys (43-15) advanced to face Texas (38-16) at 12:30 p.m. today. OSU must beat the Longhorns to advance to Sunday’s Big 12 tournament title game.

Both teams are safely inside the NCAA tournament. The Sooners (29-29) are not. They knew they had to win the tournament to get into the field of 64. That meant playing clean games to do so.

Neuse, who is OU’s every-day third baseman went 4 for 5 and drove in two runs, and Hunter Haley drove in three with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double.

The double tied the game at 2 after an inning. A two-single by Craig Aikin and another two-RBI base hit by Neuse gave OU a 6-3 lead after four frames.

Cornell went 2 for 5 on the night. OSU first baseman Tanner Krietemeier went 1 for 2 and drove in two runs. Catcher Bryan Case went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

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