April 1, 2014
NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma State won the first of five regular season Bedlam Series meetings with rival Oklahoma Tuesday night as the 20th-ranked Cowboys claimed a 3-1 win over the No. 29 Sooners in a non-conference game at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Tyler Nurdin earned his first win since Feb. 27 with five innings of work, while Brendan McCurry notched his fifth save. Gage Green and Tim Arakawa combined to drive in all three runs for the Cowboys.
The win was the third in a row for the Cowboys, who improved to 20-9 on the season, while OU managed just three hits against five OSU pitchers and fell to 20-10.
“Our kids pitched really well,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “It was good to get Tyler (Nurdin) back involved with our pitching staff. He’s a talented guy that we’re counting on to really give us some quality innings in the second half. Our bullpen was excellent, we played pretty good defense for the most part and we did just enough on offense at key moments to get a win.”
Two of those key moments came in the second inning via the long ball as OSU, which leads the Big 12 Conference in home runs, saw two Cowboys deliver their first homers of the season.
Green got things started when he led off the inning with a blast over the wall in right field, and two batters later, Tim Arakawa deposited a Robert Tasin pitch just inside the right-field foul pole to put the Cowboys up, 2-0.
“That’s what’s fun about this environment – a Bedlam game gives guys a chance to do something in a moment, and it’s something they’ll never forget,” Holliday said. “Those two guys feel like a million bucks right now. It was big – it got us going.”
The Sooners managed their lone run in the third. After a one-out walk to Craig Aikin, Hunter Haley singled into the right-centerfield gap to put runners on the corners. Aiken would score on a passed ball to make the score 2-1 before Nurdin escaped further damage by getting an inning-ending fly out to strand the tying run on third base.
Nurdin, who missed his last start due to illness and was making his first appearance since March 14, and the southpaw made it count as he improved to 2-2 on the year by allowing just one run on two hits.
“I was just taking it pitch-by-pitch, hitting my spots and letting my defense work for me,” Nurdin said. “It was big to get this outing – I hadn’t thrown that much prior, but I’ve gotten enough work in to be able to come in and start today.”
Following Nurdin’s outing, the OSU bullpen continued its dominance as the quartet of Blake Battenfield, Garrett Williams, Vince Wheeland and Garrett Williams blanked the Sooners over the final four innings. The Sooners’ lone hit after third inning came on a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth.
OSU added a key insurance run in the sixth when, with the bases loaded, Arakawa sent a grounder to second but was able to beat out the double play attempt at first for a fielder’s choice RBI.
In the ninth, McCurry hit OU’s Hector Lorenzana to lead off the inning but quickly recorded a double play before striking Keach Ballard to end the game.
OSU returns to Big 12 Conference action Friday when the Cowboys host Texas Tech. First pitch for the opener at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium is set for 7 p.m.