Feb. 15, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas – A trio of Oklahoma State pitchers, led by freshman Thomas Hatch, propelled the 18th-ranked Cowboys to a 3-1 win over Stephen F. Austin Saturday in the UTA/Hilton Invitational at Clay Gould Ballpark.
“That was a (SFA) ballclub that pounded out 20 hits and scored 14 runs (in Friday’s season opener), and Thomas Hatch made his first college start and pitched an absolutely beautiful ballgame,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “He executed his pitches; he settled in about the third inning and you saw a quality mix of three very good pitches.
“Jon Perrin came in and gave us two outstanding innings in the seventh and eighth, and Brendan (McCurry) closed it up and looked very good.”
Both teams plated runs in their first at bat, with OSU taking a 1-0 lead on Zach Fish’s RBI double into the gap.
In the bottom of the first, Matthew Dickey led off with a single, then stole second and took third on a groundout before scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Joseph Olson.
“I give Thomas a lot of credit – he’s grown up a lot since he’s gotten here,” Holliday said. “(OSU pitching coach) Rob (Walton) has done an amazing job of talking him through the mental progression that a quality pitcher works through, how he handles what’s going on around him that’s outside of his control, how he gets refocused on making pitches. That was really positive.
“Thomas has a chance to have three really high-end pitches. There’s something right there that we can definitely build on.”
With Hatch cruising, the Cowboys’ offense gave him all the support he would need, getting a two-out RBI double from Conor Costello in the third inning and making it 3-1 in the sixth on another two-out RBI, this one a single off the bat of Arakawa.
“We did enough on offense,” said Holliday, whose club stranded 11 runners on the base path. “This team is creating opportunities, the next step is some of those knockout punches.”
Perrin and McCurry provided the knockout punches in relief of Hatch. Perrin retired the side in order in both the seventh and eighth innings, recording three strikeouts along the way, and McCurry came on and struck out the side in the ninth to earn the ninth save of his career, a total that ranks eighth on OSU’s all-time list.
OSU (2-0) closes out tourney action Sunday against host UT Arlington. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.