By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It wasn’t quite the type of midweek performance Josh Holliday was looking for heading into Oklahoma State’s second Big 12 Conference series.
The Cowboys couldn’t find the gaps and couldn’t keep runners off the base in a 11-3 loss to Central Arkansas at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
“We got beat by a good team. We just didn’t play well and they did,” Holliday said after OSU’s fourth loss at home. “We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them. Sometimes it’s a pretty simple formula.”
The Cowboys (19-5) couldn’t keep Central Arkansas off the board. UCA scored in six of the nine innings with four of those being multi-run innings.
Oklahoma State, which burned through seven pitchers, surrendered a season-high 19 hits to the Bears and gave up a season-high 11 runs — topping the previous highs set Feb. 17 at New Mexico in the third game of the season. The seven pitchers used was the most since OSU utilized eight to win a 13-inning affair in the second game of the year.
“They are a good team ... we knew they were a good team coming in here,” Holliday said. “It’s not surprising that they are very competitive at home plate. They are a very good team and we didn’t execute well and when we made a mistake, instead of popping it up or hitting on the ground, they hit it off the wall.
“You give them credit, they didn’t miss anything. But at the same time, we didn’t execute at the level that we have been.”
Compounding things for Oklahoma State was the offense’s inability to crack Central Arkansas’ pitcher Clint Green.
After the Cowboys chased starter Zach Barr out of the game after a 2-run first inning, Green shut down the OSU lineup over the next seven innings — giving up just one run on one hit and two walks.
Oklahoma State got its first two runs thanks to three straight singles to lead off the bottom of the fourth. A bases loaded walk by Zach Fish plated Aaron Cornell, then a double play ground out by Victor Romero scored Robbie Rea.
“I thought it was a case of a first inning opportunity we let slip out of our hands that changed the momentum of the game early that could have been a big shift in momentum had we stayed with that inning and done more with the opportunity of having the bases loaded and nobody out,” Holliday said. “Two runs is not the return that we’re looking for in that situation, especially from the middle of the order.”
OSU’s final run came in the third inning with Cornell scoring on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Krietemeier.
The Cowboys will turn their attention to conference play with a three-game stint against Texas (14-9, 1-2) at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The series will begin 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Friday’s game scheduled for 7 p.m. and the finale set for 3 p.m. Saturday. It will end OSU’s 29-game home stretch as the Cowboys won’t return to Allie P. Reynolds again until March 19.
Cowboy notes: Freshman Corey Hassel, a Stillwater High graduate, made his first start as a Cowboy. Hassel, who played left field in the contest, had made 10 appearances over the previous 23 games before getting the start Tuesday.
The former SHS pitcher and center fielder was 1 for 4 with an RBI and three walks heading into the game against Central Arkansas. Batting at the bottom of the order, Hassel went 0 for 2 before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.