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Abram hitless, gets rare pickoff in OSU's run-rule win against DBU

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Ben Abram

Ben Abram threw three hitless innings in the Cowboys' run-rule win against Dallas Baptist on Tuesday night. 

Ben Abram finally gave Dallas Baptist something to cheer about.

To start the third inning, the Patriots hadn’t recorded a hit or made it more than three deep into the order. That was until Abram, an OSU fifth-year senior pitcher, hit DBU shortstop Luke Heefner on the foot with a pitch.

But the Patriots’ reason for hope was short lived. During the next at-bat, Abram righted his wrong and picked off Heefner at first base.

“Just fired me up,” Abram said. “It's nice when you get that pickoff (because) you don't have to work as hard. So, I'm all about that – working smarter, not harder.”

The No. 12 Cowboys built a big lead behind Abram's three hitless innings in a 20-4 seven-inning run-rule win against DBU on Tuesday night at O’Brate Stadium.

Abram hasn’t picked off many runners in his career. Actually, he said he hasn’t done it since his freshman season at OU. At 6-feet-8, 262 pounds, Abram said it’s hard for him to get to the plate quickly.

But he saw a matchup he liked. DBU (11-6) was running on timing, so he held the ball longer before whipping around to first base.

“That was exhilarating,” Abram said. “Like I know it was just kind of small, like it's just a pickoff or whatever but like, it doesn't happen to me very much.”

Before that, in the top of the first, Abram ended the inning in 14 pitches. He struck out the first three Patriot batters and never threw more than five pitches in an at-bat.

In the second, two more strikeouts. This time, Abram ended the Patriots in seven pitches. He finished with six strikeouts against nine batters on 35 pitches. It was just his second start with the Cowboys (15-3).

“I thought that's the best he's thrown in quite some time,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “Not only here, but probably I think just his overall pitching development. From the time he was at Oklahoma to here, that looked to me to be the best he's thrown the ball in quite some time. He was very impressive.”

The Cowboy bats were hot, picking up 19 hits and four home runs. But Abram dug the Patriots an early hole that was too much to climb out of.

“I think it was all about getting ahead of guys,” Abram said. “When you get ahead of guys, they're gonna get themselves out. That was kind of the plan all day and that's what was working.”