LUBBOCK, Texas –Mark Robinette tossed the first complete game of his career, and Oklahoma State scored three runs in the ninth inning to clinch a series win with a 3-0 triumph over Texas Tech Sunday at Dan Law Field.
With the win, OSU improved to 34-12 overall and 9-8 in Big 12 Conference play. The 19th-ranked Cowboys have won their last two league series and three of their six on the season (with a tie against Baylor in a shortened two-game series).
Robinette’s shutout marked the third of the season by a Cowboy pitcher. The junior right-hander tied a career high with seven strikeouts while scattering six hits and not issuing a walk. Prior to Sunday’s effort, which saw him toss 131 pitches, Robinette had not worked more than 6.2 innings.
“It started in the bullpen (before the game) – I was hitting my spots pretty well, and it just translated to the game,” said Robinette, who improved to 5-0. “All four of my pitches were working well, and I was able to execute short innings to let me go a complete game. (Texas Tech) was swinging early, being very aggressive and that helped me out, as well as my defense doing a great job.
“It was a little frustrating (not scoring runs), but I knew our guys would come through. We’ve been resilient all year, and I had confidence that we were going to win that game.”
TTU starter Jonny Drozd matched Robinette and kept the Cowboys off the scoreboard through his 7.2 innings on the hill.
But in the ninth, OSU’s bats came to life. Zach Fish led off the inning with a double to the right-center field gap off Tech reliever Johnaton Tripp. The Red Raiders then called on Andre Wheeler, but the southpaw balked then walked Victor Romero to put Cowboys on first and third with no outs.
That brought Rick Stover to the plate, and on an 0-2 pitch, the Cowboys’ designated hitter delivered an opposite field double to make the score 1-0.
“For the better part of the season, (Stover) had a limited role on our team, but in the last couple of weeks he’s earned his way into that DH spot,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “He’s given us some great swings and been really productive.”
The Cowboys weren’t done as, against a drawn in Tech infield, Gage Green singled up the middle to bring home two more runs and push OSU’s lead to 3-0.
With the three runs of support, Robinette was determined to take the mound in the bottom of the ninth and notch the complete game.
“I wanted it bad – if Rob (Walton) told me he was pulling me, we might have had a nice little argument,” Robinette said. “I’m glad he let me go. He was very confident in me and trusted me, and that helps a lot.”
Robinette retired the first TTU hitter in the ninth before a two-base error put Eric Gutierrez on second with one out. But Robinette struck out pinch hitter Brett Bell, then got Jarrard Poteete to fly out to end the game.
“That was a lot of Mark Robinette and a little bit of late offense,” Holliday said. “Mark gave us a tremendous pitching performance – he probably grew two feet today just in courage and poise and mound presence and giving his team what it needed. Sometimes Sundays are sluggish days offensively so what you need is a great start to keep you neck-and-neck until you can finally break that door down. Today it took until the ninth, but better late than never.
“It was a gritty effort by our kids all weekend long, and I’m very proud of the way they responded after Friday night’s loss.”
The Cowboys return to action Friday night when they open the Bedlam Series against Oklahoma in Tulsa.