March 14, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State split a Friday doubleheader with Texas-Pan American at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, dropping the opener by a 3-1 count before rallying for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
The 15th-ranked Cowboys, who are now 13-6, will try for their third series win of the season Saturday against UTPA (10-10) in a game that has been rescheduled for a noon start due to the likelihood of rain.
Friday’s victory marked OSU’s seventh come-from-behind win of the season as Cowboy senior Saulyer Saxon came up with a clutch pinch-hit in the eighth inning that allowed closer Brendan McCurry to earn his second win of the year.
“It was an important win, no question, and a good response by our kids after a tough loss in game one,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We were on the brink of breaking that thing (game one) open and didn’t quite do it, and we had to bounce back pretty quick. It was a good response and a good win. There was some clutch hitting, and Brendan (McCurry) slammed the door.”
OSU answered in the sixth. Fish crushed a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to get things going. After Gage Green followed the blast with a double, Andrew Rosa grounded out for the second out of the inning. But back-to-back walks loaded the bases.
With the bases full, UTPA called on Tanner Dickerson out of the bullpen, but he promptly walked pinch hitter Dustin Williams to bring home the tying run and make it 3-3.
That score stood until the eighth. With one out, Craig McConaughy walked and stole second. Saxon then delivered an opposite-field single off Matthew Harrell to bring home the go-ahead run as the Cowboys took a 4-3 advantage.
McCurry did the rest in the ninth, retiring the Broncs in order, two of those outs coming via strikeout.
McCurry’s effort came on the heels of two scoreless innings of relief by freshman Blake Battenfield, who came on for Perrin to start the sixth.
Fish finished the nightcap 3-for-4, while Green and Aaron Cornell each added two hits.
Friday’s opener was not as positive for the Cowboys, who couldn’t solve UTPA starter Sam Street.
Street improved to 5-0 on the season with 8 2/3 innings that saw him scatter eight hits and strike out four while allowing just one run.
UTPA got to Cowboy starter Tyler Nurdin early, scoring in three of the first four innings to take a 3-0 lead.
The Cowboys’ lone run came in the fourth. Green led off the inning with a single, and a one-out single by Williams put runners on the corners for McConaughy, who brought Green home with a sacrifice bunt.
OSU made things interesting in the ninth. Following a leadoff walk to Fish, Street retired the next two Cowboys before Saxon singled to center and Tim Arakawa walked to load the bases. Harrell then came out of the bullpen and got Donnie Walton to ground into a force out to seal the win and earn his first save of the season.
The Cowboys outhit UTPA in the opener, 8-6, but OSU left 11 runners stranded on the base paths.