The sellout crowd of 18,879 inside the Sprint Center for Thursday night’s quarterfinal game between Oklahoma State and Kansas State consisted of roughly 500 OSU fans and approximately 10,000 KSU supporters.
A lopsided advantage in the stands was expected, but some heavily lopsided early numbers on the court have the Cowboys all but eliminated.
KSU jumped out to a 23-8 lead. OSU narrowed its deficit to 27-23, but Obi Muonelo drew his third foul with 8:02 left before halftime. With Muonelo on the bench, the Wildcats closed out the half with a 24-3 run to lead 51-26 at halftime. Jamar Samuels had 21 points (6 of 7 from the field) and nine rebounds — OFF THE BENCH.
Offensively, Big 12 player of the year James Anderson went 1 for 9 from the field.
Speaking of numbers, the Cowboys were a No. 7 or No. 8 seed entering the contest. Depending on the size of the blowout, they don’t figure to slip much. Losing to an opponent still trying to get a No. 1 NCAA seed is no disgrace.
There are a handful of games each season when the Oklahoma City RedHawks have an 11:05 a.m. start at Bricktown Ballpark. Usually it’s Field Trip Day for local students. Sometimes it’s a helpful early start for a team on getaway day.
It is currently 8:57 a.m. on Wednesday and it’s opening day of the Big 12 Tournament at The Brick.
Kansas and Kansas State are a few minutes away from their opening pitch. There are 112 people in the stands and two ducks waddling down the right-field line, getting shooed away by the grounds crew.
It is 67 degrees under blue skies. There is a gentle breeze rather than straight-line gusts. No lines. Plenty of parking.
In a word, the setting is “perfect.”
Jack Nicklaus has said the best time to see a golf course is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when shadows are cast. Baseball is very similar, especially in a setting as beautiful as The Brick.
Wednesday morning reminded you of your Little League days, when you played early Saturday, then spent the rest of the day either watching your friends ball or playing more ball yourself.
You could hear the player chatter, the thump of the catcher’s mitt, the moment of impact between bat and ball, the words of encouragement from fans and parents, the quack of two ducks down the right-field line.
As great as the RedHawks’ 11:05 a.m. starts are, a 9 a.m. start is even better.
Sometimes baseball’s best settings are not in front of sellout crowds. Sometimes the best setting is with barely anyone is in the stands, when people relax under blue skies and think about nothing but ball.
Wednesday was all-ball all-day at The Brick. Saturday’s schedule will be the same, with games scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4 and 7:30.
If you missed Wednesday’s full schedule do your best not to miss Saturday’s offering.