Feb. 21, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State picked up its first win of the 2012 season Tuesday as the Cowboys defeated Dallas Baptist, 9-7, in their home opener at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
OSU got a strong pitching performance from Chase Stevens and home runs from Zach Fish and Robbie Rea, and sophomore Vince Wheeland came up big on the mound for his first-career save as the Cowboys improved to 1-3 on the year.
The Cowboys fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as DBU (3-1) plated an unearned run off Stevens, but OSU’s offense erupted for six runs in the bottom of the second to take command.
The six-run rally was fueled by Fish as the freshman made his first hit in an OSU uniform a memorable one by blasting a grand slam over the center field wall off Patriots’ starter Aaron Gilbreath to put the Cowboys up 4-1.
Following back-to-back singles by Gage Green and Rea, Hunter Bailey drove in OSU’s fifth run on a groundout before Mark Ginther collected an RBI single to give the Pokes a 6-1 advantage. The hit was one of a team-high three for Ginther on the night.
The Cowboys used the long ball to add to their lead in the eighth. This time it was Rea sending a two-run shot over the wall in left to put OSU on top by an 8-1 margin. The blast was the first round tripper of the junior’s career.
That win wouldn’t come easy, however.
In the eighth, the Patriots batted around, and a pair of three-run home runs trimmed OSU’s lead to one.
The first of the long balls came off the bat of Boomer Collins as he deposited a Blake Barnes pitch over the left field wall. Four batters later, it was Austin Elkins with a big fly as his first home run of the season, off Kenton Bevacqua, brought home three more runs and made the score 8-7.
OSU wasn’t out of trouble as pinch-hitter KJ Alexander delivered a two-out double before Wheeland was called out of the Cowboy bullpen.
And Wheeland delivered, striking out pinch hitter Michael Miller to end the inning without further damage.
The Cowboys added a crucial insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Victor Romero that scored Bailey and gave OSU a 9-7 cushion.
Things would be interesting again in the ninth. Back-to-back singles by Ronnie Mitchell and Nash Knight and a sacrifice bunt by Collins put Patriots on second and third with one out. But Wheeland got Landon Anderson to fly out to shallow left, then snared a sharp grounder by Joel Hutter and tossed to first for the final out to give OSU the win.
The Cowboys return to action Tuesday when they host St. Gregory’s at 4 p.m.