- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Craig McConaughy raced home from second base on Saulyer Saxon’s infield hit and second baseman Kolbey Carpenter’s error with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Oklahoma State a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma on Friday night.

The victory clinched the first Big 12 outright regular-season title for the Cowboys (41-13, 18-5) since the conference began play in the 1997 season.

“It’s a moment we’ll never forget,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said.

McConaughy was hit by a pitch from Robert Tasin (4-5) to lead off the ninth and advanced to second on pinch-hitter Aaron Cornell’s sacrifice bunt. Jeffrey Curran relieved Tasin and allowed Saxon’s up-the-middle chopper that was booted by Carpenter.

“With two strikes I was just trying to put the ball in play and make something good happen,” said Saxon, who arrived at a postgame press conference with shaving cream in his hair after the on-field celebration.

Saxon ended the top of the ninth with his second diving catch of the night.

“Saul’s a ballplayer who finds a way to make good things happen,” Holliday said. “You feel a sense of confidence when he’s up there.”

Oklahoma State has won 12 in a row while the Sooners have lost 11 of their last 13.

“When you play these type of games, someone’s going to make a big hit or someone’s going to make a big error,” Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes said. “It’s a tough way to get beat, that’s for sure. Credit Saxon for putting the ball in play and forcing our defense to make a play.”

The Cowboys have won the first two in the three-game, neutral-site series against the Sooners (27-27, 7-16). Oklahoma State clinched a share of the title with a 4-2 victory on Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma State opened the scoring on Donnie Walton’s homer that was pulled just inside the right-field foul pole in the third. Oklahoma tied it in the eighth against reliever Vince Wheeland (8-0) on two infield hits, a balk and Colt Bickerstaff’s sacrifice fly.

Cowboys freshman Tyler Buffett allowed four hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out six and did not issue a walk before an overflow crowd of 8,391 at ONEOK Field. It was the longest outing of his college career.

“He was a confident pitcher and handled the stage really well,” Holliday said. “I think he was the most consistent he’s been. His composure and confidence were at an all-time high. He set the tone by working quicker and throwing strikes.”

Sooners reliever Adam Choplick struck out eight and allowed one hit in four shutout innings as he followed starter Jake Elliott, who pitched three innings.

“Chop was aggressive and dominated the game for four innings with his fastball against a good-hitting team,” Hughes said. Oklahoma State improved to 11-0 in one-run games.

Story Continues →