STILLWATER, Okla. –Jason Hursh was dominant on the mound in leading 24th-ranked Oklahoma State to its third-straight win Friday night as the Cowboys opened a four-game series against Iona with a 9-0 triumph at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
A sophomore right-hander, Hursh recorded a complete game shutout as he racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts and allowed just four hits, all singles. He did not issue a walk, allowed only two runners past first base and needed only 89 pitches to finish off the Gaels and improve to 2-0 on the season. “It was a good atmosphere, good weather and my arm felt really good,” said Hursh, whose other win this season came in a a seven-inning complete game effort. “(Getting ahead in the count) is the main thing, especially if you’re going to go deep into games and overpower hitters. I’ve focused on getting ahead of hitters and using my out pitches — my slider tonight — to put them away.
“And our team came out swinging the bats great, and that always helps a starting pitcher, knowing he has a little comfort zone there.”
The Cowboys collected 15 hits on the night, and every hitter in the Cowboys’ starting lineup collected at least one hit, with Randy McCurry’s 3-for-4 outing leading the way.
With Hursh’s dominance, OSU (14-3) put the game away early thanks to some clutch two-out hitting as eight of the Cowboys’ nine runs in the contest came with two outs.
OSU took a 1-0 advantage in the second inning on an RBI double by Trey Whaley, and in the third, the Cowboys rallied for three runs, the big blow coming on Victor Romero’s team-leading fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right field.
The Pokes added two more runs in the fourth on RBI doubles by Aaron Cornell and Tanner Krietemeier, took a 7-0 advantage in the sixth on another RBI double off the bat of Cornell and tallied their final two runs in the eighth thanks to a run-scoring single by Jarrett Higgins and an RBI walk by Craig McConaughy.
“Tonight was a great team win,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “Jason (Hursh) was dominant, really, really had a great rhythm. He had a fantastic fastball-slider combination, and he was really outstanding. We played excellent defense behind him, the catcher caught a great game and we were balanced offensively from top to bottom. That’s a good recipe for success.”
The two teams return to action Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.