June 4, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Oklahoma State had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning but grounded into a game-ending double play as the Cowboys' season came to an end in the NCAA Nashville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Belmont Saturday at Hawkins Field.
OSU finishes its season with a 35-25 mark, and Saturday's loss marks only the second time in 38 NCAA Tournament appearances that OSU has failed to win a tourney game. The previous 0-2 showing for the Cowboys came in 1969.
Cowboy starter Brad Propst had a solid outing on the mound in his final appearance in an OSU uniform as the senior struck out a career-high 11, but Belmont southpaw Chase Brookshire was even more dominant in a winning effort.
Brookshire worked eight innings and left the game with the score at 3-0 after facing three batters in the ninth.
Two of those batters reached base as, with OSU down to its final three outs, Hunter Bailey drew a leadoff walk to open the ninth. Devin Shines then lined a pitch off the glove of BU shortstop Jared Breen and reached on the error to bring the tying run to the plate for the Cowboys.
Dane Phillips was the first Cowboy up and after he worked a 2-0 count against Brookshire, the Bruins called on closer Jon Ivie out of the bullpen. Ivie struck out Phillips on three-straight pitches before Zach Johnson singled to load the bases with one out.
OSU would get its first run when the next batter, Jared Womack, drew a five-pitch walk to make the score 3-1. The Cowboys' next hitter, Mark Ginther, worked a full count, then drew a second-straight walk from Ivie to trim the deficit to one.
That brought Davis Duren to the plate with the bases still full, but the Cowboy senior grounded into a double play to end OSU's comeback attempt.
Belmont improved to 37-25 by picking up its first-ever NCAA Tournament win. The Bruins are making the program's NCAA tourney appearance this season.
The Bruins scored all their runs early, taking a 1-0 lead when Nate Woods delivered his 13th home run of the season in the bottom of the first, a solo shot over the wall in left-center field.
BU's final runs came in the third with a two-out rally. After Propst retired the first two batters in the inning, he surrendered back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases. Up next, Matt Zeblo singled to right field to bring home a pair of runs as Dylan Craig slid in safely at the plate just ahead of the tag of Womack to give BU a 3-0 advantage.
Propst, who finishes the season with a 7-6 record, did not allow a run after that point as he worked 7.1 innings and allowed just five hits. He bested his previous career high of eight strikeouts against Texas Tech during the 2009 season and walked just one.
Brookshire held the Cowboys hitless over the first 4.2 innings until Duren recorded a bunt single to give OSU its first base runner.
In the sixth, a standout defensive play aided Belmont. After a one-out single by Bailey, Shines drilled a sharp grounder that appeared headed through the left side for another hit. But Bruin third baseman Zac Mitchell dove and snared the ball before throwing out Bailey at second.
The Cowboys got their first runner in scoring position when Shines reached second on a passed ball, but Phillips flied out to end the inning.
Brookshire improved to 6-4 with the win, while Ivie's save was his 14th of the season.