March 10, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State earned its third walk-off win in the last four games Sunday as the 26th-ranked Cowboys topped Loyola Marymount, 4-3, at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Zach Fish was Sunday’s hero as his RBI single through the left side with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Cowboys the win.
“Our kids showed a lot of resiliency on an extremely cold, difficult day to play; they grinded that game out to the last pitch, and that’s what you ask for as a coach,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “I’m very proud of our team. To have three walk-off wins in one calendar week says a lot about them – a lot of teams don’t have three walk-off wins a year and our kids just did that in five days.”
The win also marked the seventh time this season the Cowboys won a game in which they had trailed as OSU improved to 12-3 overall and won its fourth-straight weekend series.
“It shows a lot about the character of this ballclub,” Fish said. “We’re a very, very good team, and we have a lot of heart. It’s great to come out here and grind out games and shows a lot about our perseverance as a team… We’re really battling day-in and day-out, no matter what the score is or what inning it is.”
OSU trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday. After back-to-back, one-out singles by Tanner Krietemeier and Fish, Victor Romero struck out. But Randy McCurry came up big as he delivered a single off the glove of LMU third baseman Joey Boney to bring home the tying run.
With the game tied 3-3 after eight, the Cowboys called on Brendan McCurry out of the bullpen. But the junior righty was greeted by a Cullen Mahoney double and a Colton Plaia single to put Lions on the corners with no outs.
However, McCurry escaped the jam unscathed. He got Tanner Donnels to fly out, then threw out Mahoney at home plate on a safety squeeze bunt. Following a passed ball that put the go-ahead run 90-feet away, McCurry got Zac Fujimoto to ground out as OSU third baseman Robbie Rea make a great play on a slow hit ground ball and delivered a throw that just beat Fujimoto at first.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gage Green led off with a single, and after a fly out, Green stole second and Aaron Cornell collected an infield single. The Cowboy runners moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before pinch-hitter Saulyer Saxon popped up for the second out of the inning.
With first base open and two outs, LMU elected to intentionally walk Krietemeier, OSU’s top hitter, to load the bases. And Fish made them pay, sending a 2-2 pitch from Bret Dahlson through the infield for the game-winning RBI.
After going hitless over the first four innings, OSU finished with 10 hits, with Fish, Randy McCurry and Green each collecting two.
The Cowboys were able to stay in it with solid pitching and defense. Starter Tyler Nurdin worked five innings and tied a career high with eight strikeouts, while Vince Wheeland worked two scoreless innings and pitched out of a huge jam in the seventh.
OSU did not commit an error in the contest and also had a defensive highlight in the sixth when Cornell gunned down Boney at the plate on a throw from left field to keep the score tied at 2-2.
The Cowboys will return to action Tuesday when they host Pacific at Reynolds Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.