Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

April 19, 2014

Cowboys rally in the eighth to win series

STILLWATER, Okla. — Timing is everything. Oklahoma State and Tim Arakawa proved that to be true on Saturday afternoon.

In the eighth inning Fish got on a base by an error. The next Oklahoma State batter up was Arakawa. The junior sent one over the right field fence to take OSU’s first lead of game.

“I was just trying to focus and get a good pitch and get a good swing,” Arakawa said. “I didn’t know where I got that pop from. I thought it was going to be just down the line.”

The No. 13 ranked Cowboys (28-11, 10-4) added another run to its lead with McConaughy hitting a double to left to drive home Conor Costello to win 5-3 in with timely three-run inning.

“That extra run that McConaughy scored we huge because it gave us a two-run lead instead of a one-run lead,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said.

The Cowboys are at the top of the Big 12 standings with the series victory over Kansas.

Arakawa went had two hits, three RBIs and scored a run in the victory.

Fish scored two runs and had one hit.

Tyler Buffett started on the mound for Oklahoma State. Buffett had a tough first inning but bounced back with four scoreless innings.

“After the first inning he settled down and got us some of the middle innings and kept us from running down the bullpen too early,” Holliday said.

Vince Wheeland threw 2.1 innings and picked up two strikeouts and allowed two hits and a run.

Brendan McCurry came on the mound in the ninth inning. The save was his 10th of the season, which ties the single-season mark and it also broke Jordy Mercer’s career record.

“He’s grown into a heck of a pitcher here. I think one of the better closer in the country,” Holliday said.

The Jayhawks (23-18, 6-8) outscored themselves in the first inning compared to the game on Friday night. Kansas had runners on first and second following a walk and an error in the first inning. Michael Suiter brought home Justin Protacio for a 1-0 lead.

In the first inning the Cowboys pulled off a double-play with two rundowns, one at home and one at third.

“That’s probably one of the more underappreciated plays of the day. It did diffuse what looked like could be a big inning for them,” Holliday said.

Ryan Pidhaichuk hit a double to left field to plate Connor McKay for a 2-0 early advantage.  

The Cowboys went three up and three down in the first two innings and got its first player on base by a walk in the third inning. Oklahoma State left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth inning to remain scoreless after five innings. The good news for OSU at that point was the Jayhawks were held scoreless after the two-run first inning as well.

It took until the sixth inning for the Cowboys to get on the scoreboard. Fish hit a monster shot to left center that banked off of the wall for a double. Arakawa was next up and hit a grounder straight down the pipe that got out of the infield to allow Fish to step on home plate to pull to Kansas’ lead to 2-1.

Kansas added some cushion to its lead in the top of the seventh when Justin Protacio hit a sacrifice fly to left field to send Dakota Smith across the plate for a 3-1 advantage.

Tanner Krietemeier hit a double down the third base line in the bottom of the seventh inning to plate Craig McConaughy from second base. Saulyer Saxon was heading home from first but was beaten at home. Oklahoma State trailed 3-2 after seven innings.

Oklahoma State will play Kansas at 1 p.m. Sunday to finish out the series with the Jayhawks.

“I think it’s underappreciated the way that they find ways to win games. It’s a unique quality,” Holliday said.

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