Playing with fire, Pokes move onto Big 12 title game
The baseball gods have given Oklahoma State another chance.
In a surprising turn of events, the Cowboys have risen from the ashes, advancing to the Big 12 Championship with a 4-3 win over four-seed West Virginia at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Saturday morning. It was OSU's second win against the Mountaineers in three days.
Only a week ago, things looked dire for the Cowboys, having lost nine of 10 contests heading into the Bedlam series with Oklahoma. With Kansas State winning both games of its doubleheader with Baylor, OSU had to win or face a dreadful finale to what started as a promising season a year after making the College World Series.
The odds were firmly stacked against the team from Stillwater.
However, storms rolled in, delaying Game 1 and Game 2, and what many thought to be the inevitable the end of the OSU season.
The storms did a lot more than produce lightning and heavy rain, though. They also seemingly reignited the Cowboys' resolve.
OSU went on to sweep the two-game series, earning itself the eighth and final seed in the conference tournament.
The Cowboys have since defeated the co-Big 12 regular season champion Texas Tech and West Virginia (twice) to give themselves an unforeseen chance to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
I suppose that is why games aren't played on paper. Every game matters; it just takes getting hot at the right time to go on a run.
This OSU streak came about a bit later than many Cowboy fans would've liked, but it provides plenty of drama and excitement. What more could you ask for from a postseason tournament?
Everything seems to be falling into place. OSU could've easily rolled over against the likes of the Red Raiders and accepted its presumed fate, but it fought back and took advantage of the opportunity in front of it.
During the nightmarish stretch, hits weren't translating to runs. The Cowboys averaged 7.9 hits and only 3.8 runs per game. In the past five games, they have raised their average in both categories to 9.6 hits and 5.8 runs.
With guys like Colin "Tank" Simpson, who has seven hits in the past three games, including two home runs, clicking at the plate, OSU will be a tough out.