Bedlam baseball: Max Hewitt's walk-off single saves Cowboys in Bedlam
STILLWATER — It was a Bedlam win so nice, Oklahoma State celebrated it twice.
Cowboy shortstop Max Hewitt slapped a walk-off single to center field to score pinch-runner Noah Sifrit, giving OSU a 6-5 win Tuesday over Oklahoma in the final Bedlam baseball game at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
As Hewitt was being mobbed by his teammates on the dirt between first and second base, OU coaches were grabbing the attention of umpires to ask for a review.
OU defenders returned to the field, and OSU runners to their bases to await the ultimate call of safe, setting off the second celebration of Hewitt’s game-winning hit.
“These are games that we get excited for,” Hewitt said. “We want to come out and win, and we accomplished that. It’s easy to get over-amped, over-excited for those kind of moments, but we know in order to execute and play at a championship level, we have to be ready in every situation.”
OSU coach Josh Holliday said the Sooners were “evidently” asking for a review of whether Sifrit had touched home plate when he scored.
Considering that moments earlier, OU thought it was headed to the top of the 10th inning after a double play, it’s hard to blame them for challenging the final run.
OU had appeared to have turned a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning on a grounder by OSU center fielder Cade Cabbiness, but the umpires’ review showed Cabbiness had beaten the throw back to first base, keeping the inning alive.
“That’s a hustle play,” Holliday said. “That kid, his motor runs 150 all the time. I’ve never seen him do anything less than 150 percent.
“His grit running down the line to beat that out extended the inning, and it gave Max a chance to come through.”
OSU had built a 5-0 lead in the second inning, and OU cut it to 5-2 in the fourth, where it stayed until the Sooners' big eighth inning.
Hewitt wouldn’t have been in position for the game-winner if not for some defensive changes Holliday made in the top of the eighth — which promptly backfired.
Andrew Navigato and Christian Funk both changed positions entering the inning with OSU up 5-2 and committed two of the three errors in the inning that allowed OU to tie the game.
“That’s on me,” Holliday said. “There’s times as a coach when your team picks you up, and tonight, our team picked me up.”
Despite giving up three runs with three errors to let the lead slip away, the Cowboys regrouped.
“That’s probably the biggest story of the night for us,” Holliday said. “To bounce back from the emotion … for us to respond and not let that three-run inning shift the momentum completely back their direction is a growth moment for us. There were times early that might’ve done us in.”
Hewitt had entered at shortstop in the eighth as part of the defensive changes, but found himself in the batter’s box with the chance to be a hero.
“That’s a moment you live for as a baseball player right there,” Hewitt said. “You feel it coming and you want to prepare yourself to not do too much.
“This is one of the better rivalries in college baseball. To be able to end the game like that was a pretty special moment. I’m never gonna forget that.”