April 24, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A five-run fifth inning doomed Oklahoma State Sunday afternoon at Olsen Field as No. 6 Texas A&M completed a series sweep of the 15th-ranked Cowboys with an 8-1 win.
With the loss, OSU falls into the fourth spot in the Big 12 Conference standings at 10-8 and is 28-12 overall. Texas A&M maintains its spot atop the league standings at 14-4 and is now 29-11 overall.
Hunter Herrera suffered the loss in his first Big 12 Conference start to fall to 2-1 on the season. The junior right hander worked five innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
After allowing a run in the top of the first inning, TAMU right-hander Ross Stripling tossed seven-straight scoreless frames to improve to 8-2 on the year.
However, the Cowboys ran themselves out of a big first inning. Zach Johnson was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second on a single, and then with two outs and the bases loaded, Davis Duren was picked off second base to end an inning in which OSU had four hits and a hit batsman.
A spectacular defensive play by shortstop Hunter Bailey highlighted the bottom of the first inning as, with a runner on first and one out, Bailey dove to snare a sharp grounder up the middle, then got to his feet, stepped on second base and then threw to first to complete an inning-ending double play.
TAMU tied the score in the fourth. After Matt Juengel was hit by a pitch with two outs to put runners on first and second, Adam Smith sent a single through the right side, and Krey Bratsen slid into home just ahead of the tag of OSU catcher Jared Womack to make the score 1-1.
After holding the Aggies to just two hits over the first five innings, Herrera got into trouble in the sixth. Three-straight singles, two of them bunts, loaded the bases with no outs, and Juengel then stepped to the plate and delivered a two-RBI single to give TAMU its first lead of the day at 3-1.
That hit also brought Chris Marlowe out of the Cowboy bullpen, but after striking out the first hitter he faced, the OSU right-hander surrendered a three-run home run to Kevin Gonzalez as the Aggies took a 6-1 advantage.
TAMU added runs in each of the next two innings to secure the win.
Womack, Duren and Ginther collected two hits apiece to lead the OSU offense.
The Cowboys return to action Tuesday when they travel to Wichita, Kan., to take on Wichita State at 6:30 p.m.