The Sooners exploded early, the Cowboys exploded late and the brave fans who remained through the cool evening watched as the two teams created Bedlam Baseball history.
Aided by an Austin O'Brien grand slam the Sooners scored eight runs in the first two innings to seemingly take control early. Oklahoma State would gradually work their way back into the game and ultimately tie it up, 9-9, by scoring five runs in the final two innings. Little did anyone know that would be just the first half of what would end up being a record-breaking eighteen inning affair.
Both the Sooners and Cowboys would see opportunity granted and then wasted through the next nine innings of extra baseball but Oklahoma finally took the lead back in the top of the 18th.
O'Brien, who was the hero of the first inning, would play a crucial role once again in the last inning by drawing a one-out walk. Two batters later Kolby Carpenter would score O'Brien by producing a two-out double. A 10-9 lead wasn't good enough for Oklahoma as they kept the two-out rally alive. The next three OU batters would single, producing two more runs, to give the Sooners a semi-comfortable 12-9 lead heading into the bottom of the 18th.
"I got a good pitch to hit, a high fastball," O'Brien said about his first inning grandslam, but it was his eighteenth inning walk that proved to be the final straw in what had become the longest Bedlam baseball game in the history of the rivalry. Some times you spark a rally with a big hit and sometimes you spark a rally by showing discipline and drawing a crucial walk. O'Brien was guilty of both on Tuesday night and it led to the biggest win of Oklahoma's season.
"It was a good character win," Oklahoma Coach Pete Hughes said afterwards. There were multiple players who deserved to take home a game ball in what truly became a battle of attrition between the two rivals. Not only did O'Brien score the go ahead run and produce four RBI, he also drew four walks in the game. Kindle Ladd came out of the pen to throw six full innings in which he allowed no runs and only gave up two hits. Kolby Carpenter made his start at second base and not only knocked in O'Brien in the 18th, he also produced a seventh inning home run which was Oklahoma's second on the night.
Perhaps an unsung hero of the game was true freshman Sheldon Neuse who knocked in two RBI, draw two walks, and score a run, but also closed out the game on the mound after playing the first seventeen innings at third base. "Nothing he does surprises me," Hughes said about Neuse's performance.
The win avenged a 3-1 loss the Sooners suffered, in Norman, two weeks ago in the first meeting between the two teams. More importantly though, it snapped a four-game losing streak by the Sooners and potentially put them back on track for their conference series against West Virginia this weekend.
"This is something you can build off of, that's for sure," Hughes added after the game. Here's to hoping they build a conference winning streak that puts them back into the Big Twelve race.
Not only was it the longest baseball game in Bedlam history, it was also the longest game in Sooner Baseball history and the longest game played at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. Think about that little nugget of history for a minute. The longest game in Bedlam history and the longest game played at OSU's stadium belongs was won the Sooners. Oklahoma and Cowboys will play a three-game series, that counts towards the Big Twelve standings, May 15-17.