Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

March 15, 2014

Cowboys rally to take series from Texas-Pan American

STILLWATER, Okla. — Down by one, bottom of the ninth with two outs, a full count and the bases loaded sounds like a childhood fantasy to get the game-winning hit. For Tim Arakawa, it was reality on Saturday afternoon.

Arakawa connected and sent the ball to right field which allowed Ryan Sluder and Gage Green to come home to end the game on a walk-off single and two RBIs for the 7-6 victory. When Arakawa stepped up to the plate for the final hit he said he had some nerves.

“You’re always nervous when you’re going up with the bases loaded with two out down one but you have to calm those nerves and take a few deep breaths and ask ‘Lord Jesus help me out on this one.’ and he came through for me,” Arakawa said.

The No. 15 ranked Cowboys have won two games in a row and both of which were wins by just one run. Oklahoma State knows that in the future being able to get clutch hits and come away with tight-knit wins bodes well for the rest of the season.

“Most of the time you can look back on a season and your record in one run games will really tell the story of where you ultimately land. Winning those one run games vs. coming up an out short can really be the difference,” Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday said. “Winning one run baseball is usually what great teams find a way to do. Losing close games is usually a result of being a little bit short in some phase of the game. One run games are critical.”

Thomas Hatch started the game on the bump for OSU and threw 4.1 innings and struck out four. Trey Cobb tossed 3.1 innings and got six Broncs swinging. Brendan McCurry entered the game and got the final out to get the win.

The Broncs came out swinging early. Texas-Pan American earned a double and a triple in the first inning. Edgar Cordon hit in Victor Garcia Jr. and Alberto Morales with a triple to the right field wall. UTPA led 2-0 after one inning.

The Cowboys got it going in the second inning when Oklahoma State had Tanner Krietemeier at second and Green at first. Dustin Williams rose to the occasion when he knocked in Krietemeier to cut it to 2-1. Sluder kept it going by getting a hit to center to bring in Green to tie 2-2. Through two innings Oklahoma State and Texas-Pan American were tied 2-2.

Following a scoreless third inning UTPA was able to get two runs in coming from Alberto Morales and Edgar Cordon to reclaim the lead at 4-2. The lead did not last long as the Cowboys pulled together their own two runs in the fourth. Craig McConaughy knocked through a grounder to the left corner which brought Krietemeir and Sluder home to tie it up again at 4-4.

UTPA added another two runs in the top of the sixth inning. The first came from Shane Ammon and the second came from a passed ball which sent Blake Thomas across the plate for a 6-4 advantage.

Oklahoma State’s Arakawa was up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Arakawa got ahold of a pitch and sent it to center field, unfortunately for OSU it was caught. OSU trailed 6-4 going into the seventh inning.

Oklahoma State pulled to 6-5 with Donnie Walton crossing home in the bottom of the seventh inning on a high pitch.

The Cowboys held UTPA scoreless in the top of the eighth. Oklahoma State had one out and the bases loaded when Zach Fish was called to the plate. Fish flew out and Krietemeier was next up. Krietemeier got contact and sent one to right field but was just short of the wall. The Cowboys trailed 6-5 through eight innings.

The Cowboys were able to win two of the three games in the series against Texas-Pan American. Oklahoma State moved to 14-6 on the season after the ninth inning rally.

“Texas-Pan American played us three incredible games our kids battled their hearts out in all three,” Holliday said. “I think we saw a team that grinded and played hard. We were just waiting for that one moment to get the lid off of it and luckily it came right there at the end.”

Oklahoma State will play at Missouri State at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday in its final non-conference game before beginning Big 12 play.

“We got a lot of guys that might need a tune-up on the mound. I think we’re starting to figure some things out as a ballclub that we needed to figure out in the pre-conference part of the schedule to prepare us for conference play,” Holliday said. “We work to get better and learn from our first 20 ball games.”

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