Three consecutive home runs lift Cowboys to Bedlam win
TULSA — It took just 11 pitches for Oklahoma State to keep firm command of Bedlam.
Three times in those first 11 pitches Friday at ONEOK Field, Oklahoma rightfielder Brady Harlan drifted back to watch a Cowboys long ball fly over his head and over the wall.
Oklahoma State rode back-to-back-to-back first-inning home runs and a dominating performance by Jensen Elliott to a 5-1 win over the Sooners in the series opener.
“It was electric,” OSU's Christian Funk said of the first-inning barrage. “I’ve never been a part of that.”
It was the Cowboys’ ninth consecutive Bedlam win and the 20th in the past 24 games against the Sooners.
“Each game’s its own game,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said. “Get ready to play the right way, great respect for our opponent, that’s for sure.
“We don’t really talk about that much to be honest with you. You can’t undo anything that’s happened in the past and you can’t worry about the future.”
After Oklahoma starter Nathan Wiles forced a groundout to begin the game, Oklahoma State began its onslaught.
Funk, Colin Simpson and Andrew Navigato belted home runs out to right field in succession.
It was the first back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Cowboys since a 2006 game against Western Illinois.
While the Cowboys quickly took control at the plate, they held it in large part thanks to Elliott’s control.
The junior retired the first 13 batters he faced, not allowing a baserunner until Tyler Hardman’s one-out single in the fifth.
Elliott went the distance, working through trouble in the ninth to finish off his second complete game.
Elliott credited both his devastating sinker and the rhythm with which he was able to work to getting him through the start.
“I’m definitely a tempo pitcher,” Elliott said. “Hitting the zone early in the game where I wanted to ball to go, that was definitely key and then once I started getting my rhythm down, I just feel like I’m locked in and no matter what I do I’m going to get my ball executed inside the zone.”
Funk added a fifth-inning solo homer.
While Holliday said there was no common thread to Oklahoma State’s recent dominance in the series, his counterpart — Oklahoma coach Skip Johnson — insisted that he also wasn’t worried about the carryover effect of the Cowboys’ control of the series going into Saturday’s game.
“I don’t think it’s frustrating at all,” Johnson said. “None whatsoever. It’s not about Oklahoma State. It’s about baseball.
“It’s about just getting back to the fundamentals of baseball, one pitch at a time and just win each pitch.”