Friday First Takes - The Bedlam Lives Up to Its Name Edition

This Bedlam stuff is awesome!

As I said in my Touching the Bases blog tonight, I wanted to experience what the Bedlam Rivalry was all about. And boy, did I get that in freakin' spades, man!

Oklahoma comes back from an 8-2 deficit in the 8th inning to pull out the most improbable win I've seen all season. Hands down!

Final score: Oklahoma 9 - Oklahoma State 8.

And I hate to use it in its biggest cliched way, but this really was bedlam.

In a nutshell...

OSU's Jordy Mercer moved from his shortstop position to the closer role on the mound in the 9th. He was throwing 91-93mph heat the whole time. But OU kept scratching. Everything they hit found a hole in the defense and got out of the infield in lazer-like fashion.

Then, down to his last out to get, Mercer faces a .217 pinch hitter (Brendan Moss) at the plate and has him down 0-2 in the count. Two balls outside the zone later and then Mercer melts down like a mother.

Zing! One wild pitch. One OU run. Tie game.... (things calm down a bit)... Next pitch: Zing! Another wild pitch. Another OU run, this one the game-winner. All Hell broke loose from there. A dog pile. Thrown gloves and helmets. A wild celebration. A handshake line with no handshakes because OSU just headed for the locker room.

This game had everything tonight.


Oh and in the other game today at the Bricktown Ballpark, Baylor beat Missouri 10-5.

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A quick look around the horn.


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Intense rivalry, part two---
Long Beach State - 6
Cal State Fullerton - 7
After falling behind 6-1 to the Dirtbags, Titan First Baseman Tim Wallach hit a bases-loaded shot to the wall. Long Beach Right Fielder Robert Perry scaled the fence, threw his glove out there and then came crashing to the warning track. The ump runs out to make a ruling... eventually signalling "out". Perry remained lying on the ground. The runners scurry back to their bases. Then, upon further inspection, Perry didn't come up with the ball - Home run/grand slam. 6-6 tie.

In the 8th inning, Wallach comes through again, this time doubling with two out. That was followed by Evan McArthur's slap double that brought home the winning run.

Wes Roemer, still not on top of his game, goes the whole nine innings, striking out 11, while giving up eight hits and six earned runs. But I have to say, Wes... enough with your post-game barking at the Long Beach dugout. Have some respect for this great rivalry. It's called karma... don't become a victim.

(Special thanks to Jeeves, my driver, who didn't travel with me this weekend, for his insight and descriptions of this great game tonight.)


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Team of the Day---
Gonzaga.
The Zags need it more than San Diego does. And today, it showed, with their 6-4 win at Cunningham Stadium. But people tend to forget that GU's Clayton Mortensen was the one named Pitcher of the Year in the WCC. Not Barry Enright and not today's loser, Brian Matusz. Mortensen went the distance on 134 pitches, giving up seven hits and striking out six.


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Best ending---
Georgia Southern - 6
UNC-Greensboro - 8
How about this for a way to win a game. And I mean even more dramatic than two straight wild pitches. The Spartans pull off a triple play in the 9th inning to win the game. Ooh-wee!


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The Ouch List for Friday---
- Florida.
Today: Lost 5-3 vs. South Carolina
Why it hurts: There will be no triple-dip national championship trip for Gator fans this school year. At 28-29, baseball is done. And let me say this, I know people were all hyped about their high RPI and strength of schedule and all. But any team that lost series to VMI and Kent State should never have been on the at-large radar. Really people.

- Louisville.
Today: Lost twice to Rutgers, 12-10 and 3-1.
Why it hurts: The next 65 hours will feel like four seasons in one day to the Cardinals as they wait to hear if they get extended an at-large bid to the Big Dance.

- Stetson.
Today: Lost 18-5 vs. Belmont
Why it hurts: The elimination of the Hatters probably doesn't hurt they're situation any for an at-large bid, but the rest of the country sees another spot taken up by someone undeserving.

- Winthrop.
Today: Lost to Coastal Carolina 13-3 and Liberty 11-1.
Why it hurts: The faint at-large hopes have circled the drain. Alex Wilson deserves better. Next year.


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Who's sitting pretty---
- Ohio State.
Today: Won 10-9 (11inns) vs. Minnesota.
What it means: The Big 10 tournament is laid out to really torture the teams that fall into the loser's bracket. Check out the bracket if you don't believe me. And today's game was a genuine knock-down-drag-out, with the Bucks pulling it out in the 10th. As an example, now the Gophers must beat Penn State and then OSU twice to win the title. See what I mean?

- Creighton.
Today: Won vs. Bradley 17-2.
What it means: The Bluejays are now 3-0 and will take a rest while they wait the winners of tomorrow's Wichita State-Bradley game. The Bluejay bullpen hasn't been taxed hardly at all either. CU is playing really well right now, winners of 24 of its last 26. Okay, show of hands, who here wants to play the Bluejays?

- Rutgers.
Today: Won twice vs. Louisville, 12-10 and 3-1.
What it means: After two games against a tough opponent, a rest is in order for the Knights. Plus, and this is a big plus, if the Knights don't win the tourney and the NCAA committee comes down to choosing between them and the 'Ville, they'll quickly notice these two wins.

- Charlotte.
Today: Won vs. Fordham 15-2.
What it means: It means that the 49ers are going to do the bubble teams a big favor and win the A-10 tournament. They'll play Fordham, who had to play two draining games today and will be short of arms tomorrow.

- Coastal Carolina.
Today: won 14-2 at Winthrop.
What it means: This put a serious silencer on the Rock Hill crowd. Now CCU needs one win in two tries to win the Big South title.

- Virginia Commonweath.
Today: Won 6-4 vs. Old Dominion
What it means: Delaware sends a thank you note to the Rams for eliminating the Monarchs. But VCU still needs just one win tomorrow against the Blue Hens.

- LeMoyne.
Today: Won 2-1 vs. Manhattan.
What it means: The Dolphins need just one win in two tries tomorrow. It's been all about pitching so far as LeMoyne has held Canisius and the Jaspers to 11 combined hits and two runs.

- Oral Roberts.
Today: Won 4-2 vs. Valparaiso.
What it means: Ho-hum, ORU has two chances to win one against out-manned Centenary. Hey, but they got a good game from Valpo!

- Wofford.
Today: Won 6-2 vs. The Citadel
What it means: The Terriers got out to a 14-3 start this season, but fell apart after that. But rising from the ashes, they have now won three straight in the SoCon tourney and face The Citadel again tomorrow, needing just one win.

- Sam Houston State.
Today: Won 5-4 vs. UT-San Antonio.
What it means: The Sam moves to championship Saturday needing just one win over Texas State. The Bearcats won today's game in the 9th when the Roadrunners couldn't complete an inning-ending double play.

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Dammit!---
Made a small mistake in yesterday's Thursday Thoughts. The time and network change that the NCAA announced a change for was for the NCAA Tournament Regional sites show on Sunday. That will be shown between a pair of softball games on ESPN. I had accidentally said it was Monday, the day the 64 team field is announced. And yes, the announcement show of the Regional sites is still going to be wrong on my TiVo I set before I left home.

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Man, I'm parched. Heading out for a bit. Hope you guys continue to have a great baseball weekend. More tomorrow as we face off with a four-game day here in Oklahoma City.

G'night.

Comments

Hey man, great column, just one error: Creighton doesn't have an off day today as their game with Bradley yesterday was Bradley's elimination game (Creighton beat them two days in a row). Instead, Creighton plays Wichita State in the championship today, one game for sure, two if necessary.

Also, I have a question for you: Ray Tanner has raked in three consecutive number one recruiting classes and all of his players have stayed. However, the Cocks continue to play at the level of a 20-25 ranked team, especially at the pitching level. When is it time for Tanner to make nice on these recruits, as the passed few years in Columbia have been mediocre compared to SC standards?

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert