Stillwater News Press

April 8, 2014

Cowboys rally, hold on against Arkansas-Little Rock

By Derek Brown
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Garrett Williams shook off the first two innings and came back with four straight scoreless innings.

Oklahoma State baseball hosted Arkansas Little Rock on Tuesday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium for a nonconference bout. The Cowboys completed the comeback and denied the Trojan’s rally to come away with a 7-6 victory.

“It was a great win because we found ways to overcome mistakes and battled back from a deficit,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said.

This season the Cowboys have been unstoppable in one-run games. OSU is a perfect 8-0 in games decided by just a run.

“I think just the intensity that we bring this team’s really relentless. We got a tough group of guys here,” Oklahoma State sophomore Donnie Walton said.

Williams tossed six innings and struck out 10 Trojans in that time. Williams gave up five hits and four runs. Williams (3-0) was awarded the win. Brendan McCurry tossed the final two innings and picked up his eighth save of the season.

“Once (Williams) settled down he got in a great groove. His tempo improved, he was really relaxed. He threw the ball real easy. I thought he did a heck of a job,” Holliday said.

At the plate Walton was perfect. Walton had five at bats; he started off with a home run, was walked twice and got two hits. Walton scored two runs and had an RBI.

“Donnie was sensational at home plate tonight. It was a great night for him,” Holliday said.

The start was nice for Arkansas Little Rock. The Trojans converted on an error and a balk to send Austin Pfeiffer and Tanner Rockwell home for a 2-0 lead.

Walton got a run back with a solo shot over the right field wall to cut it to 2-1.

“I just got in a hitter’s count and I was just looking for my pitch. He gave it to me and I reacted to it,” Walton said.

UALR answered with two more runs on three hits in the top of the second to extend its lead to 4-1. Drew Merten drove in Petr Sila and Bryson Thionnet strolled across the plate off an Oklahoma State error.

For Williams it was the moment that things turned around.

“It’s baseball. It’s going to happen. I missed my spot a couple of times and it got hit,” Williams said. “After that I settled in. I got better posture, my momentum picked up and I felt the tide turn on our side.”

The Cowboys blew up in the bottom of the third inning with four runs to claim their first lead at 5-4. OSU’s Walton drove in Green on a sacrifice fly to center field. Zach Fish picked up a hit up the middle to drive home Conor Costello. Tim Arakawa stepped up to the plate and hit a triple to right field which allowed Tanner Krietemeier and Dustin Williams to take a 5-4 lead.

Oklahoma State added some cushion in the fifth inning. The Cowboys started with Arakawa hitting a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Krietemeier. Gage Green scored on a hit from Craig McConaughy for a 7-4 lead after five innings.

The Trojans went four innings scoreless until the top of the seventh when UALR sent Ben Crumpton and Tanner Rockwell home to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 7-5 after seven innings.

With the victory the Cowboys are now 23-10 this season. Oklahoma State has won six of its last seven games.

Oklahoma State is happy with the victory. This season the Cowboys have gotten into a groove that has forced them to come back and rally.

“We always want to get better. But at the same time you cannot deny a team’s ability to win and how unique that is,” Holliday said. “I give the kids credit for playing all nine innings.”