May 4, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State completed a series sweep of 26th-ranked Arizona State with a 14-12 win in a Sunday afternoon slugfest at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Sunday’s finale marked yet another come-from-behind triumph for the No. 9 Cowboys as their sixth-straight win saw them improve to 35-13 on the season. OSU has 21 comeback victories in 2014.
Coach Josh Holliday’s ballclub racked up a season-high 18 hits in the contest. Saulyer Saxon tied a career high with four hits, while Tanner Krietemeier, Gage Green and Bryan Case added three hits apiece.
Mark Robinette was one of six Cowboy pitchers on the day and earned the win with three innings of work to improve to 2-2, while Brendan McCurry added yet another save to his school-record total, notching his 14th of the season and 22nd of his career.
“Of all the days this year, that one might stand out the most just because of the back-and-forth nature of the game — it was two very good teams slugging it out with a lot to play for,” Holliday said. “It was an amazing job by our kids of picking each other up all nine innings. It’s a great win anytime you can sweep a team as good as Arizona State — that’s not easy to do. I wore that uniform for two years (as an assistant coach), and I know what exists inside those kids and those coaches. That’s a very proud, powerful program.
“It’s pretty special what our group did today. They continue to show great character, and I’m really proud of who they are.”
On a day that saw OSU score in six of its eight at bats, the Cowboys fell behind in the first inning as ASU tagged starter Tyler Nurdin for three runs on two hits, with a two-out, two-RBI single by Jake Peevyhouse giving the Sun Devils a 3-0 lead.
The Cowboys weren’t down long.
In the bottom of the inning, Saxon led off with the first of his four singles on the day, and two batters later, Krietemeier blasted his team-leading ninth home run of the season over the wall in right field. An RBI double by Conor Costello would tie the score at 3-3 later in the frame.
OSU increased its lead in each of the next two innings, plating three runs on three hits in the second and crossing the plate twice more in the third to go up, 8-4.
However, the fourth inning was ugly for the Cowboys as ASU erupted for seven runs on four hits. The Sun Devils sent 11 batters to the plate, with the big blow coming on a grand slam by Brian Serven off OSU southpaw Garrett Williams.
As it is wont to do, OSU battled back to regain the lead.
Down 11-8 entering the bottom of the fifth, Case jump started a rally with a leadoff double, and following a single by Saxon, Donnie Walton brought home Case with a fielder’s choice RBI. Two batters later, the Cowboys would cut their deficit to one on an RBI single by Green.
In the sixth, a leadoff walk to Tim Arakawa, a Costello single and a sacrifice bunt put Cowboys in scoring position with one out. Case was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Saxon delivered the tying run with an RBI single. Up next it was again Walton’s turn, and he put OSU back on top with an RBI single before a sacrifice fly by Krietmeier pushed the lead to 13-11.
ASU (24-20) got its final run and its lone score off Robinette on a solo homer by R.J. Ybarra in the seventh. Robinette’s three innings were the longest by an OSU hurler on the day as he allowed one hit and struck out four.
OSU added an insurance run in the eighth on Case’s first-career home run, and McCurry dominated the Sun Devils with four strikeouts over the final two frames to seal the win.
The Cowboys return to Big 12 Conference play this weekend when they travel to Manhattan, Kan., to take on Kansas State. At 13-5, OSU is tied with TCU atop the league standings.