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.
With the Cowboys’ offense providing support, Stevens was impressive on the hill. In seven innings of work, the junior righty struck out 10 and allowed just two hits as he picked up the first win of his OSU 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.