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Big 12 Championship Game Recap: Oklahoma State Takes The Title

 Matt Tallarini  |    May 26th, 2024 9:38am EDT

Photo Courtesy of Big12

Arlington, Texas –  The No. 19 ranked program Oklahoma State University Cowboys won the 2024 Big 12 Conference tournament championship on Saturday night and crushed their in-state rival, the No. 8 ranked team in the country, the University of Oklahoma Sooners, 9-3, to capture their fourth conference championship title since the program.  

During Saturday’s win, the Cowboys starting pitcher Tommy Molsky allowed seven hits, three doubles, three earned runs, five walks, and 10 strikeouts while facing 39 batters.  

“A lot of fun. Kind of cool to celebrate a little bit. You don’t get moments where it feels okay to celebrate. Once the season starts, you are constantly chasing growth and improvement. When the season ends, you shift your focus to this, so it’s kind of fun for 15 minutes there”, Oklahoma State head coach Josh Holliday said during the post-game press conference on winning the program’s fourth Big 12 title.  

The Oklahoma Sooners pitching staff between southpaw starting pitcher Carter Campbell, relief pitchers Dylan Crooks, Will Carsten, James Hitt, Jason Bollman, and Ryan Lambert allowed 11 hits, nine earned runs, four walks, and six strikeouts while facing 42 batters.  

Oklahoma never won the Big 12 Conference regular season title until this year.  

“It’s like I told the guys in the locker room, we got prepared for next week. We got to play those games and play for the championship, so it was pretty awesome,” Oklahoma Sooners head Skip Johnson said during the post-game press conference.  

This was the first time Oklahoma State and Oklahoma played each other in the Big 12 Conference championship game since both programs joined in 1997.  

Oklahoma State was 3-1 against in-state rival Oklahoma during the regular season coming into the Big 12 Conference championship game on Saturday night.  

The Cowboys did not hold back on the run column in the top of the first inning, with center fielder Zach Ehrhard lifting a sacrifice fly to Sooners center fielder John Spikermann, scoring Carson Benge for the game’s first run.  

In the top of the third inning, Molksy struck out Jason Walker, John Spikerman, and Easton Michael, keeping the Cowboys’ momentum.  

The Cowboys cracked three runs in the top of the fifth inning with catcher Ian Daugherty leading off with a single to left field.  

Johnson came out to the mound after southpaw starting pitcher Carter Campbell gave up a double to the second batter of the inning to Colin Brueggemann and called up on relief pitcher Dylan Crooks. 

Campbell threw four innings on Saturday and allowed four hits, three earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts while throwing 70 pitches.  

A few batters later, Avery Ortiz lifted a sacrifice fly to center field with Daughtery coming in to score to extend the lead to 2-0.  

  The next batter, shortstop Lane Forsythe beat out an infield single to Sooners second baseman Jackson Nicklaus, scoring Brueggemann to make it 3-0.  

The Cowboys got their fourth run in the top of the fifth inning with Zach Ehrhard drawing a bases-loaded walk, scoring Forsythe for the fourth run.  

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Sooners got on the board with John Spikerman smacking an RBI double into the left-center field gap, scoring left fielder Kendall Pettis to make it 4-1.  

Holliday came out to the mound to take out starting pitcher Molsky in the bottom of the fifth inning and called on relief pitcher Gabe Davis.  

Molsky threw 4.1 innings and allowed four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts while facing 19 batters.  

Davis faced Easton Carmichael as his first batter of the bottom of the fifth and gave up a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Jason Walker with the Sooners cutting the deficit in half at 4-2.  

During the top of the seventh inning, Oklahoma State put the stamp on their in-state rival with Nolan Schubart launching a 426-foot three-run home run to dead center field, his 17th of the season, scoring Forsythe and Carson Benge to capitalize on a five-run lead at 7-2.  

The Cowboys did not stop pouring the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning, with  Kolin Ritchie smashing a 432-foot solo home run over the right-center field bullpen, his seventh of the season, to make it 8-2.  

Daughtery joined the home run party after Ritchie with a solo home run over the left field wall, his 10th of the year, to punctuate a 9-2 lead over the Sooners.  

The Sooners got their third run of the game on Saturday night with first baseman Michael Snyder hitting a double down the left field line, scoring Carmichael to make it 9-3.  

Cranz came out for his second inning in relief on Saturday night looking to spoil the hearts of their in-state rival and got shortstop Jaxon Willits to pop up to Forsythe for the final out of the game to beat the Sooners 9-3 and win their fourth Big 12 Conference championship title.  

“This is a great program with a great history, so we expect to win around here, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone when we do it,” Benge said during the post-game press conference.  

Davis improved his record to 2-4 for the season on Saturday night and threw 2.2 innings, allowing two hits, one earned run, two walks, and two strikeouts while facing 11 batters. He dialed 50 pitches for 28 strikes.  

Campbell earned his first loss of the year, dropping his record to 4-1.  

Oklahoma State will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the 49th time in their program’s history once they take the field next weekend.  

The Cowboys have previously won the Big 12 Conference in 2004, 2017, and 2019. 

Oklahoma will have to wait until Selection Monday to find out where it will play for the Regionals in the 64-team tournament.  

Selection Monday for the 2024 NCAA Division I Tournament Selection Show will be on May 27 at 12 p.m. EST on ESPNU. Sixty-four teams will be selected into the field.  

The 2024 NCAA Division I tournament starts with the Regionals on Friday, May 31, until Monday, June 3. The Super Regionals: Friday-Sunday will have two separate dates: Friday, June 7, until Sunday, June 9, and Saturday, June 8, until Monday, June 10.  

The first day of the 2024 NCAA Division I College World at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb., will start Friday, June 14, and go until Monday, June 24, if there is a third game in the best-of-three National Championship Series.

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Matt Tallarini
Matthew (Matt) Tallarini is the Founder and Chief Correspondent for the World Baseball Network. Matt played semi-professional baseball with the Pelham Mets in Pelham, New York for four years, including the 2018 Semi Pro World Series. During the pandemic, Matt began engaging with international baseball, as a way to keep connected to the sport. Matt created the World Baseball Network and its signature website, WorldBaseball.com as a way to promote and inform similar likeminded fans about the players, teams and leagues innovating the sport of baseball and feeding into Major League Baseball (MLB). As a result of Matt’s efforts, World Baseball Network is now the benchmark standard for international baseball coverage, including MLB, MiLB, NCAA, Korea, Japan, Caribbean, Baseball United, WBC, WBSC and more. In a short time, Matt has interviewed a who’s who of global baseball legends and coaches. These include: Former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera; Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman; former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams; Mickey Callaway former MLB manager; Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach; Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics; Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player; Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs; Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals; and Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matt Tallarini is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance. Since its inception, Matt has been the Chief Correspondent for World Baseball Network. Matt has interviewed and interacted with many international players and coaches including former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams, Mickey Callaway former MLB manager, Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach, Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics, Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player, Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs, Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals, Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matthew is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance.