June 3, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Oklahoma State led early, but 21st-ranked Troy scored nine unanswered runs to hand the Cowboys a 9-2 loss in the opening round of the NCAA Nashville Regional Friday at Hawkins Field.
With the loss, the second-seeded Cowboys fell to 35-24 on the season and will play the loser of tonight's Vanderbilt-Belmont contest Saturday at 2 p.m. If OSU wins that game, they would remain alive in the tourney and be back in action Sunday at 2 p.m.
Junior Hunter Herrera suffered the loss on the mound for the Cowboys to fall to 3-2 on the season. In his sixth start of the year, the right-hander worked 5.1 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked two.
Offensively, OSU collected eight hits by seven different players, with Dane Phillips' 2-for-4 effort leading the way.
A three-run sixth inning helped third-seeded Troy overtake the Cowboys, and a five-run eighth inning sealed OSU's fate. Troy starter Tyler Ray improved to 12-0 on the season as he allowed just two runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings.
OSU just missed getting on the scoreboard in its first at bat. Phillips collected the first hit of the contest with an opposite-field double, and two batters later, Jared Womack delivered a single to left field. But Troy left fielder Boone Shear threw a perfect strike home to nail Phillips trying to score and keep the Cowboys off the scoreboard.
The Cowboys would strike first in the second though when Luis Uribe led off the bottom of the inning with a home run over the left field wall. The blast was Uribe's fourth homer of the season.
OSU doubled its lead in the third. Devin Shines opened the frame with a double to right field, and after advancing to third on a groundout, he scored on Zach Johnson's bloop single that landed just inside the right field line and gave the Cowboys a 2-0 advantage.
Troy (43-17) cut into the OSU lead in the fourth. Adam Bryant singled to open the inning and after advancing to third on a groundout and a wild pitch, he scored on a two-out, infield single by Todd McRae to make the score 2-1.
The Trojans rallied for three runs to take a lead they would never reliquinsh in the sixth, batting around and taking advantage of three walks to go with their three hits in the inning.
Once again it was Bryant getting things started with a leadoff double, and T.J. Rivera followed with a single up the middle that plated the tying run.
Troy then took advantage of Herrera's inability to find the strike zone as a pair of walks loaded the bases with one out. And Hayden Hillyer delivered for the Trojans, singling to left field to bring home the go-ahead run and end Herrera's stint on the mound.
Andrew Heaney came out of the OSU bullpen and quickly retired the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning, but then Tyson Workman drew the third walk of the inning to bring home the Trojans' fourth run.
Trailing for the first time, OSU got leadoff singles in both the sixth and seventh innings, but neither Cowboy runner advanced past first base.
Troy added five huge insurance runs in the eighth, getting a two-out, bases-loaded triple from Tyler Hannah off OSU reliever Chris Marlowe to take a 7-2 lead and adding two more on a double by Rivera.