Stillwater News Press


May 3, 2014

Seniors get memorable sendoff with late-inning rally against ASU

STILLWATER, Okla. — Senior Day at colleges and high schools nationwide pays tribute to players who have given their all to represent their schools the best they can.

No. 9 Oklahoma State recognized eight baseball players Saturday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, but there was no need to.

The seniors made their presence known in their contributions to a 6-5, 11-inning win against Arizona State (24-19).

Cowboy coach Josh Holliday was just grateful it didn’t go as long as the 18-inning Bedlam loss April 15.

“The kids are awesome; I enjoy watching them compete,” Holliday said. “We fought against a heckuva good ball club, and our kids are finding ways to win.

“I told Donnie, thank goodness you got that hit buddy. I don’t know how much longer I could’ve gone without eating.”

Donnie Walton and Tim Arakawa, both sophomores, played the biggest part in the Cowboys’ 19th victory after trailing. Arakawa contributed two RBIs, and Walton drove in the game-winning run.

But if a few key seniors hadn’t done what they did, the game never would have gone into extra innings.

“Some of the older guys really contributed today,” Holliday said. “If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have won like we did. They’ll never forget that day for 30 years.”

It all started with Tanner Krietemeier, who brought the Cowboys back within striking distance in the fourth inning.

Down 3-0 with Zach Fish on first, Krietemeier belted it to left field to bring the Cowboys within one.

Three batters later, Craig McConaughy drove in Arakawa with an RBI-double to left field. Just like that, two key seniors put OSU (34-13) back in contention to take game two of the series.

McConaughy made an impactful play in the seventh, but it wasn’t for the best. With two outs and two runners on, RJ Ybarra grounded to the OSU third baseman.

Johnny Sewald, the baserunner at second, started to sprint for third, but McConaughy stared right at him and stopped him in his tracks. McConaughy could have made the tag on Sewald or catch him in a jam.

Instead, McConaughy opted to throw out Ybarra at first. By the time McConaughy released his throw, Sewald headed for third again and was right next to McConaughy. All he had to do was tag Sewald out and end the scoring threat.

Instead, his throw to Krietemeier at first was wide and scored both Sewald and David Greer.

Vince Wheeland (6-0) was on the mound when ASU took the lead, but the error didn’t faze him. He got the next out and went the next four innings, giving up only two hits and striking out three in the win.

“It’s just another game to me,” Wheeland said. “The bullpen is awesome; we go out there, give it our best.”

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