April 11, 2014
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Oklahoma State recorded its third shutout of the season Friday night as the 18th-ranked Cowboys opened their series against West Virginia with a 6-0 win at Hawley Field.
The Cowboys scored all of their runs over the final three innings as they improved to 24-10 overall and moved into second place in the Big 12 Conference standings at 6-4.
OSU junior Jon Perrin outdueled WVU ace Harrison Musgrave to earn his second-straight win and improve to 4-2 on the season. Musgrave, the reigning Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, entered the game 5-0 in nine career conference starts, but the southpaw allowed three unearned runs in 7 1/3 innings and fell to 3-2 on the year.
“We played a really well-rounded game; we got excellent starting pitching and quality defense, which typically go hand-in-hand, and we were extremely competitive at home plate against what many would tell you is the top pitcher in the Big 12,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “For us to go on the road and handle a really, really quality left-handed pitcher like Musgrave the way we did was big. I thought it would be a game where the bullpens were going to decide it if it was going to go in our favor – we were going to have to get (Musgrave) out of the game and we were able to do so.”
Both pitchers put up zeroes over the game’s first six innings, but that changed in the seventh. Aaron Cornell led off the frame with an infield single, and after he stole second, Robie Rojas also picked up an infield hit. Up next, Arakawa laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error to load the bases with no outs.
After Musgrave struck out McConaughy for the first out, Green stepped to the plate and lifted a shallow fly ball to right field. Cornell raced home, and Shaun Wood’s throw was up the line as the sacrifice fly gave OSU a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Mountaineers (16-13, 2-4) looked poised to answer and take the lead. With one out, Perrin hit pinch hitter Max Nogay with a pitch, and an infield single put WVU runners on first and second.
The Cowboys would call on Vince Wheeland to relieve Perrin, and he quickly got a groundout that advanced both runners. Up next, Taylor Munden sent a drive into the right-center field gap, but Conor Costello was able to make a great running catch to rob Munden of extra bases and keep OSU’s lead intact.
“Off the bat, it looked like it had double written all over it,” Holliday said. “(Costello’s) range in right field there kept a 1-0 game at 1-0 and allowed us to turn around the following inning and score four runs. That was a big play out of Conor, a game-changing play.”
Fueled by the standout defensive play, the Cowboys rallied for four runs in the eighth to drive Musgrave from the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, Arakawa drove in two runs with a single, and McConaughy followed with a two-RBI single of his own to all but seal the win for OSU.
Hassel provided one final insurance run in the ninth on another two-out RBI, this one a double to right center field, and Brendan McCurry completed his second scoreless inning in relief to give the Cowboys the win.
The two teams return to action Saturday at 3 p.m. (CST) as OSU looks for its third-straight conference series win.