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Sports

May 25, 2013

Cowboys lose lead for third straight game, fall to West Virginia

OKLAHOMA CITY — Playing only for pride, Oklahoma State left Bricktown Ballpark as one of only two teams not to win a game in the Big 12 Conference Championship.

As was the case throughout the tournament, the Cowboys failed to keep the clutch in overdrive and West Virginia rallied — like Kansas and TCU before them — to top OSU 6-5 in 10 innings.

“I’m disappointed in the results, but I am not disappointed in the way in which our kids competed,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We competed in all three games. They were all close ballgames and games that we he had a lead.”

Oklahoma State got on the board in the first inning on a two-out, two-run home run by Randy McCurry, his third of the season, after Tanner Krietemeier avoided the final out of the inning with a throwing error by West Virginia.

“I got offspeed, just like I saw the whole series,” said McCurry, who also had a home run against West Virginia in the regular season finale. “I was just looking for something offspeed. That last series against them and then this whole tournament, all I’ve seen was offspeed.”

Aaron Cornell hit a shot off the top of the wall for a double in the fourth and advanced to third on a wild pitch. West Virginia’s second error of the game — a fielding error by the third baseman — allowed Zach Fish to reach safely and Cornell to score the game’s third run.

Oklahoma State picked up two more in the sixth thanks to two more Mountaineer miscues in the field. OSU got the bases loaded with a pair of singles and catcher’s interference when WVU’s catcher Alan Filauro attempted a pickoff throw to third that wound up in left field to allow Cornell to score. Victor Romero, playing in his first game since the Bedlam Series, plated Robbie Rea on a sacrifice fly for the fifth unearned run of the game.

“You’ve got to take advantage of (those errors), you’ve got to get every run you can when you can,” Cornell said. “We had a couple chances there where we could have got one in that was earned, but that just goes to show that if that’s not working you’ve got to do whatever it takes to produce runs.”

Cowboys starter Mark Robinette was cruising through the middle innings, retiring 16 straight batters at one point. But that all changed in the bottom of the sixth.

The Mountaineers, who still had a shot at the title game with a win, put up a five-spot on Robinette with all the runs coming with two outs in the inning.

After a leadoff walk, Robinette retired the next two batters before WVU’s Jacob Rice reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Tuntland plate Rice on a single to left.

Then came the big hits. Ryan McBroom, the league leader in home runs, hit a two-run blast into the left field bleachers to cut the deficit to one. Brady Wilson followed with a solo shot of his own into left to tie the game and force Robinette out of the game.

“He just had one of those innings where he had two outs and it looks like he has a chance to wiggle out of it with no damage, but they lay down a two-out bunt — which was a heck of a play, extending the inning and bought them time,” the OSU coach said. “The kid hits a (two-run) homer to get them off the snide and they (blast) another one.”

The Mountaineers clamped down on the Cowboys following the big inning, forcing OSU to strand six runners in the final five innings for a total of 10 in the game. Oklahoma State also grounded into three double plays, with two of them ending innings.

With OSU unable to get anything going on offense, West Virginia was able to send it to extra innings. A leadoff double proved to be the deciding factor with Rice, a Tulsa Union product, delivering a walk-off single to right.

Now the Cowboys will play the waiting game. They head into Monday’s NCAA selection show on a four-game losing streak and have dipped to 52 in the RPI.

“The body of work our team has put together is strong,” Holliday said. “If 39 wins and a second-place finish in the Big 12 Conference isn’t enough to get a postseason berth, then I will be surprised of those teams that are more deserving than our team.”

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