LUBBOCK, Texas – Oklahoma State took an early lead and never looked back Saturday night at Dan Law Field as the 19th-ranked Cowboys topped Texas Tech, 11-5.
With the win, OSU evened the series, setting up a Sunday rubber game at 2 p.m. The Cowboys are 33-12 overall and returned to .500 in Big 12 Conference play at 8-8.
OSU racked up 14 hits in Saturday’s win, led by a 3-for-4, three-RBI performance by Zach Fish, and southpaw Tyler Nurdin won his second-straight start to improve to 2-2.
The Cowboys enjoyed an 11-1 lead after 8 ½ innings before Texas Tech (22-25, 7-13) made things interesting with a four-run rally in its final at bat.
“I disregard that (bottom of ninth inning) – that was an 11-1 thumping,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We played extremely good. We got a good start (from Nurdin), and we were offensive with several big innings and on the verge of several more. We had outstanding at bats, two-out hits and an opposite-field home run.
“I’m very proud of the way we turned our energy from (Friday) to (Saturday). We were a much better team, and that was much more reflective of who we see ourselves as. That’s the way you even a series, and there’s still work to be done, I assure you of that.”
OSU wasted no time getting its bats going. Saulyer Saxon led off the game with a triple down the right-field line, and a single by Tanner Krietemeier brought home the Cowboys’ first run. The Pokes added two more runs in the frame, getting a sacrifice fly from Robbie Rea and a two-out RBI single from Fish to take a 3-0 advantage.
Following a two-out, two-run home run in the fifth by Fish, a blast that carried over the bullpen in right field and marked his team leading seventh of the season, the Cowboys led 6-0.
TTU finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth when a sacrifice fly by Jake Barrios made it 6-1.But that was the only run the Red Raiders would manage off Nurdin, who worked 6.1 innings and struck out six while issuing just one walk.
OSU continued to add to its lead late, getting a run in the seventh and then tacking on four more in the ninth, with the big blow in that inning coming on a three-run homer off the bat of Gage Green.
Down to its last three outs, the Red Raiders rallied for four runs on four hits in the ninth, but Brendan McCurry closed the door on any hopes of a comeback.