Feb. 28, 2014
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Oklahoma State erased a six-run deficit Saturday against Manhattan as the 11th-ranked Cowboys picked up a 10-7 win on the second day of the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic.
Coach Josh Holliday’s club used an eighth-run sixth inning to earn its fifth come-from-behind win of the season as the Cowboys improved to 10-1.
“When it was sitting at 6-0, if you had told me we’d win 10-7, I’d have said, ‘Okay, tell me how it happened,’ because I’d have taken that,” Holliday said. “(Manhattan’s) energy to start the game was very good, and ours was not on par with theirs. They put pressure on us, and we didn’t handle it as well as we need to.
“But to our ballclub’s credit, they’ve shown an instinct for covering things and finding ways to win a ball game.”
Manhattan (1-5) wasted no time taking control of the scoreboard against OSU starter Garrett Williams as the Jaspers scored twice in their first at bat.
In the third inning, Manhattan doubled its lead when Vin Teixeira delivered a two-out, two-run home run to left field to put the Jaspers up 4-0.
Williams left after three innings of work, but the Jaspers tallied runs in the fourth and fifth innings to go up 6-0.
After managing just one hit over the first four innings against Joey Rocchietti, the Cowboys finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth with pair of two-out RBIs. The first came on a bunt single by Saulyer Saxon before an RBI double by Donnie Walton made it 6-2.
The Cowboys gave one of those runs back in the sixth, but in the bottom of the inning, the five-run deficit would be erased.
Dustin Williams got things started with a single, and three batters later, OSU had loaded the bases with one out. Pinch hitter Ryan Sluder stepped to the plate and brought home the first run of the frame with an infield single, and back-to-back walks to Tim Arakawa and Saxon brought home two more runs and made it 7-5.
After Walton struck out, Tanner Krietemeier drew OSU’s third RBI walk of the inning to pull the Cowboys within one. Up next, it was Dustin Williams delivering the big blow of the contest as he ripped a triple down the right-field line to clear the bases and put the Pokes on top. The final run of the game came when Zach Fish followed the triple with an RBI single.
“When you fought and scratched and clawed to get into position to make a run, showed some patience and drew some walks, when a young man (Williams) steps up and puts a swing on the ball to put you ahead, that changes the complexion of the game,” Holliday said.
Playing its first lead, a trio of OSU hurlers kept Manhattan off the scoreboard over the final three innings to seal the win. Blake Battenfield worked scoreless seventh and eighth innings before Alex Hackerott and Brendan McCurry combined to record the final three outs of the game.
Dustin Williams, Fish and Saxon each had two hits for the Cowboys, while Walton extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games.
OSU returns to tourney action Saturday against Santa Clara at 5 p.m. (CST).