Zach Johnson homered twice in Saturday's loss.
May 21, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas – Oklahoma State collected 15 hits, including four homes runs, Saturday night at Dan Law Field, but it wasn’t enough as the 22nd-ranked Cowboys dropped an 11-7 contest to Texas Tech.
With the loss, OSU fell to 34-20 overall and 14-11 in Big 12 Conference play. The Cowboys are tied with Oklahoma for third place in the league standings, and with a win in Sunday’s series finale, they would clinch the third seed in next week’s Big 12 Baseball Championship in Oklahoma City. If the Pokes lose, they will be the tourney’s fourth seed. OSU and TTU close out the regular season Sunday at 1 p.m.
Brad Propst suffered the loss for the Cowboys to fall to 7-5 on the season. The senior right-hander lasted just 3.2 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season, and allowed a career-high eight runs on seven hits.
OSU wasted no time taking the game’s first lead as Devin Shines led off the game with a home run, the first Cowboy to do that since Donnie Webb opened the May 18, 2008, game against Oklahoma with a round tripper.
Two batters later, the Cowboys doubled their lead on another solo homer, this one coming from Johnson. Johnson’s homer was his team-leading 10th of the season and second of the series.
Texas Tech answered in the bottom of the first. After a leadoff double by Kelby Tomlinson, Reid Redman tripled to make the score 3-1, and Barrett Barnes followed with a two-run home run to left field to tie the score.
The Red Raiders took the lead for good in the second inning by taking advantage of an error by Bailey at shortstop. The error came with two outs and allowed Redman to reach safely and Tomlinson to advance to third. Up next, the Cowboys intentionally walked Barnes to load the bases, and TTU capitalized on an infield single by Nick Popescu to go up by a 4-3 count.
TTU added to its lead in the fourth, scoring four times with two outs. The first two runs came on back-to-back RBI hits from Stephen Hagen and Kevin Whitehead to give the Red Raiders a 6-3 advantage and knock Propst from the game.
The home team pushed its lead to 8-3 on a two-RBI single by Andre Wheeler before OSU reliever Andrew Heaney got an inning-ending groundout to stop the bleeding.
In the fifth, the first two OSU batters reached base safely, and the Cowboys would eventually load the bases with two outs. But TTU starter Trey Masek escaped the inning unscathed when he struck out Bailey to end the threat.
The Red Raiders continued to extend their lead in the fifth, scoring three times to take an 11-3 lead into the sixth.
After being shutout since the first inning, OSU finally got back on the scoreboard in the sixth when Mark Ginther delivered a solo homer to left-center field. The blast, Ginther’s eighth of the year, made the score 11-4 and ended Masek's day on the hill.
Johnson’s second home run of the day came in the seventh, and despite trailing by six going into their final at bat, the Cowboys made things interesting in the ninth.
Back-to-back hits with one out brought Duren to the plate and forced TTU to call on closer John Neely out of the bullpen.
Duren won that battle as he ripped a two-RBI single up the middle to make the score 11-7, but Neely got Hunter Bailey to ground into a fielder’s choice before striking out Gabe Weidenaar to end the game.
Masek picked up the win on the mound as the righty worked 5.1 innings to improve to 5-3 on the season.