Zach Fish and Jarrett Higgins
June 2, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Oklahoma State advanced to the NCAA Louisville Regional final Sunday with a 7-1 win over Miami, but Louisville ended the Cowboys’ season by knocking them off by a 12-3 margin at Jim Patterson Stadium.
The Cowboys, who were the Louisville Regional’s third-seeded team, finished their first season under head coach Josh Holliday with a 41-19 mark.
“I’m very proud of my team,” Holliday said. “We had a big challenge ahead of us. We got halfway up the mountain, and we knew the last half would be maybe the biggest journey. We weren’t quite able to extend it. But we competed very hard today. We’ll sleep tonight and be able to be honest with ourselves and know we gave it everything we had. That’s all you ask your kids to do this time of year.
“Physically, mentally and emotionally, they gave us what they had, and they have all year… We’ll take this experience and build on it, build ourselves and build our program with the idea of getting back here and getting through this next time.”
In an elimination game against second-seeded Miami, OSU notched its 18th come-from-behind win of the season. Jarrett Higgins and Gage Green each drove in two runs, while Mark Robinette earned his sixth win of the season on the mound.
The Hurricanes, the regional’s second seed, collected a pair of hits to plate a run against Robinette in the top of the first inning.
OSU took the lead for good in its next at bat. Zach Fish led off the fifth inning with a single, and following a sacrifice bunt, Higgins delivered a triple to left-center field to plate the go-ahead run. Higgins was awarded home on the play when UM second baseman Alex Hernandez made an errant throw into the Canes dugout, giving the Cowboys a 3-1 advantage.
Following the rocky first inning, Robinette settled in and did not allow a hit over the next five innings before handing things off to Vince Wheeland out of the bullpen in the seventh.
And Wheeland kept Miami off the scoreboard over the final three frames to earn his second save, while OSU added two insurance runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Green, Higgins and Tanner Krietemeier all recorded two-hit performances against Miami to help Robinette improve to 6-1.
Faced with the task of beating host Louisville twice to advance to a Super Regional, OSU sent senior Kenton Bevacqua to the mound against the Cardinals.
The southpaw retired UL’s first seven hitters but got into trouble in the third, beginning when the southpaw hit Zak Wasserman with a pitch. After getting a pair of outs, the Cardinals began a trend of two-out RBIs on a single by Nick Ratajczak to plate the game’s first run.
After another hit-by-pitch, UL cleanup hitter Coco Johnson, who was named the regional’s most outstanding player, put the Cards up 3-0 with a two-RBI single.
The Cowboys plated their first run on a Green sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, but UL answered with two more runs off Brendan McCurry in the fourth and another in the fifth.
OSU added runs in the fourth and fifth innings to trim its deficit to 6-3, but that was as close as the Cowboys would get as they finished the contest with 12 runners left on base.
The eighth inning would seal the Cowboys’ fate as Louisville rallied for six runs on five hits.
UL southpaw Joe Filomeno, who came on in relief in the fifth, picked up his first win of the season as he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.
OSU finished with nine hits in the contest, with Fish and Victor Romero collecting three apiece.
Earning NCAA Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team honors for the Cowboys were McCurry (shortstop) and Green (OF).