April 6, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State rallied late to earn its second-straight Big 12 Conference series win as the 20th-ranked Cowboys claimed an 8-3 victory in Sunday’s series finale against No. 25 Texas Tech at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The Cowboys scored all of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings, putting up four runs in each frame, to earn their 13th come-from-behind win of the season and improve to 22-10 overall and 5-4 in league play.
“The kids were resilient; probably the greatest learning point for us was to come back from yesterday and come back with a clean slate, then to fall behind against a very good pitcher and to pull out that energy late was really a positive step for our team,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “It was a great team effort — a lot of guys were involved there in the seventh and eighth innings.”
Texas Tech (24-11, 5-7) built a 2-0 lead through the game’s first 6 ½ innings, getting a run off OSU starter Tyler Nurdin in the first inning and another in the sixth off reliever Vince Wheeland, but the Cowboys erased that lead in the bottom of the seventh.
Tanner Krietemeier led off that pivotal inning with a single against TTU starter Chris Sadberry, one of just four hits allowed by the southpaw. Following the hit, the Red Raiders called on Ryan Moseley out of the bullpen, but he promptly walked Zach Fish on four pitches.
Trailing 2-1 with runners on second and third and no outs, Holliday sent Saulyer Saxon to the plate to pinch hit, and the senior delivered with a two-RBI single that put the Cowboys on top.
“Saulyer (Saxon) coming off the bench was an amazing, clutch play, and that’s the leadership you get out of guys like Saul,” Holliday said. “Saul’s hit to turn the board like that and give us the lead, that changed the momentum in a big way.”
Later in the inning, OSU pushed its lead to 4-2 when Tim Arakawa scored on a balk.
In the eighth, the Red Raiders answered back when Hunter Redman recorded a two-out, RBI double to pull the visitors to within 4-3. The run was the first ever allowed by freshman Blake Battenfield, who began his OSU career with 24 consecutive scoreless innings in relief.
Following the RBI double, OSU called on closer Brendan McCurry, who escaped further damage by getting Jake Barrios to fly out to end the inning.
OSU would add plenty of insurance in a wild eighth inning that saw the Cowboys score four times on just one hit. The scoring started when Saxon drew a bases loaded walk against Cameron Smith to make the score 5-3. Following the second out of the inning, Smith hit three-straight Pokes with pitches as Craig McConaughy, Green and Donnie Walton each picked up RBIs to extend the lead.
With a five-run cushion, McCurry worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season. The senior righty now has 15 career saves, just two behind the OSU all-time record of 17 set by Jordy Mercer.
OSU returns to action Tuesday when the Cowboys host Arkansas-Little Rock at 6:30 p.m.