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Rounding Third: OSU wins Big 12

OSU won the Big 12 over the weekend. Here’s how it happened.

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Record: 41-14 overall, 18-6 Big 12 (1st)
Streak: Lost 1

The Cowboys become the undisputed champions of the Big 12 but lose a 12-game win streak on the final game of the regular season. Here’s what you missed with Cowboy Baseball last week:

Cowboys Claim Conference Title, Win Bedlam Series

The coronation was set for the weekend series against OU, but first a rematch with Oral Roberts was on hand. The Pokes fell behind early (surprise!) but rallied with a five-run 8th, thanks to three hits and five walks. The 8-3 win gave OSU its 10th consecutive victory.

Good pitching was the key to OSU’s wins Thursday and Friday. Jon Perrin turned in yet another great performance, going 7.1 innings and allowing two runs, striking out four. Conor Costello’s three-run homer in the 5th put the Cowboys ahead for good, and Brendan McCurry closed his 16th game of the year in a 4-2 win.

It was Tyler Buffett’s turn on Friday, as the freshman pitched seven scoreless innings, limiting the Sooners to four hits and striking out six. He didn’t get the win though, as Vince Wheeland gave up a run in the 8th to tie the game. But the heroics belonged to Saulyer Saxon, who singled to a bobbling second baseman, allowing the Big 12-clinching run to score in a 2-1 win.

The 12-game win streak was snapped Saturday, when OU put up four runs in the first and OSU couldn’t string any hits together. The champagne hangover (or apple juice for the youngsters) lasted all night as the Pokes fell 8-1 in an unimpressive game.

Last Week’s Results

Tuesday: No. 6 OSU 8, Oral Roberts 3
Winning Pitcher: Garrett Williams (4-0)
OSU: 5-run 8th inning
Green: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Saxon: 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 HBP

Thursday: No. 6 OSU 4, OU 2
Winning Pitcher: Jon Perrin (7-3)
Save: Brendan McCurry (16)
Perrin: 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 K
Costello: 1-2, 3-run HR (5)
Fish: 3-4, 2B, 2 R

Friday: No. 6 OSU 2, OU 1
Winning Pitcher: Vince Wheeland (8-0)
Buffett: 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K
Walton: 1-3, solo HR (3)
Saxon: 2-5, walk-off single

Saturday: OU 8, No. 6 OSU 1
Losing Pitcher: Garrett Williams (4-1)
Cobb: 4 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K
Arakawa: 2-3, R 

In The Polls (As of May 13)

USA Today: 6th (9th last week)
NCBWA: 7th (7th last week)
ESPN Power Rankings: 8th (8th last week)
Collegiate Baseball: 9th (12th last week)
Baseball America: 12th (13th last week)
RPI: 24th (27th last week)

Offensive Player of the Week

Gage Green, Jr. C/OF

There was some regression to the mean for the Cowboys at the plate this week, but Green managed to do a bit of everything. He hit 6-16 (.375) with a double and two RBIs. He also scored twice and stole three bases, giving him a team-leading 18 this year.

Pitcher of the Week

Tyler Buffett, Fr. RHP

The freshman threw an outstanding game in the conference-clinching win against OU on Saturday. He pitched seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out six. He was in line for the win before Wheeland gave up a run in the 8th to tie it. The Albuquerque native should be the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation heading into postseason play.

Team Stats Leaders

Batting Average: Green, .330
Runs: Krietemeier, 41
RBIs: Arakawa, 39
HR: Fish, 10
SB: Green, 18
Wins: Wheeland, 8
Innings: Perrin, 84.2
ERA: McCurry, 0.45
Strikeouts: Perrin, 72 

Tweets of the Week

Bullpen love.

Great atmosphere at ONEOK Field.

Yes we do.

Champions at the high school level too.

Collection of championship tweets.

Upcoming Games

The Big 12 Tournament is this weekend, and the Cowboys will face a familiar foe in the first round – the Oklahoma Sooners. This will be the sixth matchup of the Bedlam rivals, with OSU taking three of the five games so far. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, but is subject to the length of the games before it.

A win will put OSU against the winner of the UT/Tech game, while a loss will pit the Cowboys against the loser of that game. The winner’s bracket game is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, while the loser’s bracket plays at 12:30 p.m.

Three Things To Watch For

1. The Big 12 Tournament! It’s been the best season for OSU in a long time, and this team has a chance to make it even better. The Cowboys have already equaled last season’s win total, and are one win away from matching the 2007 squad – a team that went to a Super Regional.

2. An update on the record books: Donnie Walton is two sacrifice hits away from breaking the OSU career record, and Brendan McCurry is five appearances away from the most appearances in a season.

While these records will mean little to two team players in the hunt for a trip to Omaha, it still must be nice to see your name on the top of an OSU career list.

3. We are just a week away from Selection Monday, and while the Cowboys are securely in “host a regional” territory, they are still competing for a national seed.

If the Big 12 tournament comes down to TCU and OSU, the winner should get one of the eight national seeds – though it wouldn’t hurt to have two of Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Miami struggle this week. You can check out ESPN’s latest bracketology here.

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