ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Oklahoma State scored the game’s final nine runs and completed an improbable comeback with a 15-14 win over 21st-ranked New Mexico in 13 innings Saturday at Isotopes Park.
The Cowboys scored four runs in the eighth inning, then rallied for four more in the ninth to send the game to extra innings tied at 14-14. In the top of the 13th, Jarrett Higgins brought home what proved to be the winning run with a single that clinched a series win for OSU (2-0).
Randy McCurry pitched the final 5.2 innings for the Cowboys to pick up the win. The senior right-hander, who did not allow a run and struck out four, pitched out of a huge jam in the bottom of the 13th to secure the OSU win.
“That game was very reminiscent of some of the comebacks we’ve witnessed in the past,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “To put four (runs) up in the eighth and four in the ninth after getting down to your last strike makes you sit there and smile. It was certainly a perfect win with an imperfect lead up.
“We just kept fighting, and I really, really like that about this group.”
OSU jumped out to a big early lead in its first at bat, showcasing power in the middle of its lineup in doing so.
A one-out walk to Higgins got things started, and McCurry followed that with an RBI double into the left-center field gap to bring home the game’s first run. Up next, Zach Fish crushed a Tony Consiglio offering deep over the wall in centerfield to make it 3-0.
The Cowboys weren’t done. After a walk to Tanner Krietemeier, Victor Romero stepped to the plate and sent a line drive home run down the right field line, extending OSU’s lead to 5-0.
OSU did not hold the lead for long, however, as the Lobos erupted for seven runs in the second inning against Kenton Bevacqua, who made his first-career start Saturday.
UNM sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame and tagged the southpaw for six hits, the big blow coming on a grand slam by All-American D.J. Peterson that put the Lobos on top.
The Cowboys trimmed their deficit to one on an unearned run in the third that made the score 7-6, but UNM scored seven runs off five different OSU pitchers over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to go up 14-6 entering the eighth.
That’s when things began to turn for Holliday’s club.
Singles by Robbie Rea, Donnie Walton and Gage Green loaded the bases with one out, and Higgins walked to bring home a run and make the score 14-7. After an RBI groundout by McCurry, Fish delivered a two-RBI double to right field that made the score 14-10.
UNM would escape further damage in the eighth, but the home team could not hold the four run lead in the ninth.
Facing a four-run deficit, Rea once again got things started with a single. Aaron Cornell then stepped to the plate and deposited a pitch over the left field wall for his first-career home run.
Down 14-12, the Cowboys loaded the bases with two outs after an error and two hit by pitches. That brought Krietemeier to the plate, and after falling behind 0-2, the junior first baseman came up clutch for the second-straight game with a two-RBI single through the right side that tied the score at 14-14.
Neither team scored over the next 3 ½ innings, but in the 13th, OSU plated its ninth unanswered run, a score that proved to be the game winner. Gage Green led off the frame with a double down the right field line, and Higgins’ single up the middle brought him home.
UNM wouldn’t go down without a fight in the bottom of the 13th. A leadoff double by Chase Harris was followed by a bunt single to put Lobos on the corners with no outs. But McCurry struck out the next two batters and got pinch-hitter John Pustay to ground out to end the game and complete the comeback.
“Randy McCurry – what can you say?!” Holliday said. “He goes 5 2/3 and pitches out of jams. I’m really proud of him. That’s a heckuva win.”
OSU finished with 19 hits in the contest, with Fish, Walton and Cornell collecting three apiece. Six different Cowboys had at least two RBIs, with Fish’s four leading the way.
Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (CST) start.