- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma State pitcher Jon Perrin handled business, just as coach Josh Holliday expected.

Perrin, a junior right-hander, allowed seven hits and two runs in 7 1-3 innings to help the Cowboys defeat Oklahoma 4-2 Thursday night. Oklahoma State claimed a tie for its first Big 12 regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament.

The Cowboys (40-13, 17-5) entered the night one game ahead of the TCU in the standings. TCU lost to Baylor in a game that ended just minutes before the Bedlam Series game ended at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

Holliday downplayed the stakes, but said the fact that it was a Bedlam Series game made the stage bigger, and Perrin’s effort more impressive.

“Anyone that’s ever pitched Game 1 of the Bedlam Series knows there’s some energy in the ballpark,” he said. “He handled that unbelievably well.”

Perrin started Thursday’s game by pitching seven scoreless innings. The Cowboys played errorless defense behind him.

“When guys make plays like that behind me, it makes it pretty easy to pitch,” Perrin said.

Conor Costello cranked a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Perrin the breathing room he needed.

“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Costello said. “There’s runners in scoring position, and the guys did a good job getting on base. That was the main thing, just sticking to my approach and just winning the pitch. I got a good pitch to hit and just put a good swing on it.”

Oklahoma starter Jacob Evans lasted 6 1-3 innings, the longest outing of his career, but he gave up the long ball one pitch after he felt he should have gotten Costello out on a called strike three.

“It was one pitch from being a completely different ballgame,” he said. “I felt good. I felt like I had all my stuff. I had a pretty good grip on my curveball tonight. It was one pitch from being a completely different ballgame.”

Tanner Krietemeier added two hits for Oklahoma State.

Evans gave up four runs on eight hits, struck out seven and walked three. Mac James and Hunter Haley each had two hits for the Sooners (27-26, 7-15).

Oklahoma had its share of chances to ruin the night for its rival. The Sooners had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the second, but couldn’t score.

Oklahoma State got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Aaron Cornell sacrificed to score Zach Fish.

Costello’s homer to left field in the fifth scored Fish and Gage Green and put the Cowboys up 4-0.

Oklahoma State nearly added some insurance in the bottom of the sixth when Bryan Case singled to push Tim Arakawa to third with two outs, but the Cowboys came up empty.

Oklahoma put enough of a threat together in the top of the eighth to chase Perrin. Vince Wheeland entered the game in relief, but Kolbey Carpenter scored on a wild pitch, then Craig Aikin scored on a sacrifice fly by Sheldon Neuse to trim Oklahoma State’s lead to 4-2. Carpenter got out of trouble, and Brendan McCurry pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save.

The series resumes with games in Tulsa on Friday and Saturday.

“I’m going to spin a positive from this,” Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes said. “That was as good and as sound as I’ve seen our club play in a while. We just didn’t get the win we were looking for.”


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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