Oklahoma State back on top in Big 12; Texas hits worst skid since 1956

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Oklahoma State’s first sweep of Texas in seven years and school-record 10th consecutive series win in conference have moved the Cowboys back to the top of the Big 12.

The Longhorns, meanwhile, are in a swoon the likes of which the program hasn’t seen in almost 60 years.

The Cowboys (22-9, 7-2), ranked as high as No. 9 this week, won the Big 12 regular-season title last year but were picked behind TCU and Texas in the preseason polls.

They won two of three at TCU two weeks ago and two of three at home against Kansas State before Corey Hassel’s walk-off homer in the 18th inning Friday produced a 6-3 victory that started the sweep of the Longhorns in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State has one of the country’s hottest pitchers in senior left-hander Michael Freeman (6-0, 1.46 ERA). He went eight innings Sunday, striking out seven and allowing two runs on four hits in an 8-3 win. Freeman went into the game off back-to-back complete games, having come within two outs of a no-hitter against Kansas State on March 29.

OSU has lost two consecutive games only once, and that was in the season-opening series against nationally ranked Arizona State. Swept at home by UC Irvine in the Super Regionals last year, the Cowboys are going for a third consecutive NCAA tournament bid.

Texas (17-15, 5-4), which fell one win short of the College World Series finals last year, will need a turnaround to make it back to the national tournament.

With seven everyday starters and nine pitchers back, the Longhorns were ranked in the preseason top 10 and opened with a series win at Rice. They split four games at Stanford and won their conference-opening series against West Virginia and swept Kansas State.

But they scored just three runs in three losses at Nebraska and lost a 10-inning midweek game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The losses at Oklahoma State knocked Texas out of the top 25 and extended the Longhorns’ losing streak to seven games, the longest since Bibb Falk’s 1956 squad went on an eight-game skid that started with a loss to a team called Brooke Medical Center.

A look around the country:

COMEBACK COMMODORES: Vanderbilt went 5-0 last week and is No. 1 in two of the four major polls this week. The Commodores rallied for three runs in the seventh inning to win 4-2 Sunday and finish a sweep at Georgia. Vanderbilt has 10 come-from-behind wins and has won four times when trailing after six innings.

RED-HOT CARDINALS: Louisville (24-7, 13-1) has won 12 consecutive ACC games after sweeping Virginia on the road. The Cardinals have won 10 consecutive series against nationally ranked opponents.

AGGIES KEEP ROLLING: Texas A&M’s sweep of Kentucky on the road made it the first team to win 30 games. The Aggies (30-2, 9-2 SEC) have hit 10 home runs in their last three games and 36 for the season.

PAC-12 SHOWDOWN: UCLA visits Southern California this weekend in a match of the Pac 12’s top two teams. The Bruins (23-6, 10-2) have won 10 of 11. USC (25-6, 7-2), which plays UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, has won five in a row.

CRAZY BIG TEN: Iowa (21-7), which hasn’t won a Big Ten title since 1974, is 6-0 in conference play and leads Illinois by a half-game. Preseason favorite Maryland overcame a five-run deficit Sunday to sweep Nebraska with a 6-5 victory. Defending champion Indiana, swept at Iowa a week ago, lost two of three at home to Michigan. And eighth-place Michigan State stepped out of conference and surprised the nation with a three-game sweep at nationally ranked Oregon.

This article was written by Eric Olson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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