May 13, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State’s winning streak reached 10 games Tuesday night as the No. 6 Cowboys rallied for an 8-3 win over Oral Roberts in the regular-season finale at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
A five-run eighth inning sparked OSU to its 23rd come-from-behind win of the season as the Cowboys improved to 39-13. The 10-game winning streak is the longest for the Pokes since the 2008 club won 12 in a row.
In the decisive inning, coach Josh Holliday’s ballcllub sent 11 batters to the plate and rallied for five runs on five walks and three hits, including a go-ahead RBI single by Saulyer Saxon.
“It was a good win for us,” Holliday said. “We made some mistakes early in the game that we were able to overcome. It was a 3-3 game in the bottom of the eighth, and they had their closer in the game. We did a nice job of putting together a five-spot late, which is tough for the other team to do anything about, and let (McCurry) sew it up.
ORU (29-24) scored all of its runs early thanks to poor defense by the Cowboys.
In the first inning, OSU starter Mark Robinette retired the first two Golden Eagles but then surrendered a single to Jose Trevino. Up next, Tyler Boss sent a routine fly ball to left field, but Conor Costello dropped the ball, allowing Trevino to score.
Following the error, Robinette issued a pair of walks to load the bases, and a third-straight walk, this one to Audie Afenir, made the score 2-0 before a fly out finally ended the inning.
OSU cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the first, getting an RBI double from Green to make the score 2-1, but in the top of the second, another Costello error proved costly.
This time, the Cowboy left fielder misplayed a line drive off the bat of Emmanuel Forcier, and the ball rolled to the wall and allowed Forcier to score on the play.
The score remained 3-1 until the fourth when OSU mounted a two-out rally with the bases loaded. It was Saxon that got things going with an RBI hit-by-pitch, and Walton followed that with an RBI walk to tie the score before the inning came to a close.
Neither team would score over the next 3 ½ innings, with Trey Cobb coming up big out of the OSU bullpen as the freshman right-hander racked up six strikeouts, which tied a career high, and allowed just one unearned run on three hits.
In the decisive eighth, Craig McConaughy drew a leadoff walk and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Cornell. That brought up Saxon, who delivered his second RBI of the game with a single up the middle to put OSU up 4-3.
“(Saxon) is a rally starter,” Holliday said. “He had the clutch hit in the eighth to give us the lead, and Saul has done that at least five or six times this year, singled up the middle to put us ahead late in the game. That’s the kind of player he is, and he’s really a key part of what we’re trying to do.”
The Cowboys would go on to score four more times in the eighth, getting an RBI single from Green and RBI walks from Tim Arakawa, Costello and McConaughy.
OSU will close out the regular season with The Bedlam Series, which begins Thursday night in Oklahoma City before shifting to Tulsa for the final two games on Friday and Saturday. The Cowboys enter the series atop the Big 12 Conference standings.