OKLAHOMA CITY – Cade Cabbiness blasted one of his biggest hits of the season and it was a moonshot over the left-field wall.
Grand slam. Cabbiness’ opposite field bomb tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. What had been a game in favor of TCU was now a brand new contest with two innings remaining.
Then the wheels came off the Cowboys’ wagon, and they came off quickly.
TCU put up a large crooked number on the scoreboard in the next half inning. That was all it needed, beating OSU, 13-6, in a nearly four-hour game at the Big 12 Baseball Tournament.
“As the home team, you feel pretty good there,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said about tying the game in the seventh inning. “We made a mistake or two here and there, and to their credit, they banged the ball around the yard and spread it back out at the end.”
The TCU victory forced an if-necessary game late Saturday night. The game didn’t begin before press time.
It was also the second if-necessary game of the day at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Texas Tech beat West Virginia in the first game to start Saturday, forcing a rematch that began at 7:10 p.m.
TCU (32-25) was technically the first team to win Saturday as it closed out its win over Baylor that began Friday night. The final two innings were played Saturday morning after weather halted the game the night before.
The Horned Frogs used that momentum to jump out to a 6-0 lead in the first three innings against OSU. They scored four runs on six hits against OSU starting pitcher Joe Lienhard, who lasted only 2 2/3 innings.
“If you look at it, his command of the ball was not good,” Holliday said. “TCU is a good team and if you leave the ball up, they’re going to hit it.”
OSU (34-18) struggled at the plate early as the first eight batters all struck out. TCU starter Jared Janczak threw six innings and allowed four hits and two runs, while striking out 12 – one shy of his total for the season entering Saturday – of the 23 batters faced.
“The young man who started for them has been one of the best pitchers in the Big 12 for a number of years during his career,” Holliday said. “He’s fought through some injuries and he pitched a really good game. Early in the game, he was really sharp and throwing for strikes. … He was more competitive pitch to pitch than we were able to match him. Hats off to Jared Janczak. He went out there and did what a kid who’s proud and a strong member of a program does and gave his team what they needed.”
The Cowboys crept back in the game with a run in the fourth and sixth innings. Colin Simpson hit a solo home run in the fourth. It was his 15th home run of the season and his fifth-straight game with a homer.
In the sixth, Trevor Boone hit an RBI single to score Christian Funk, who reached base on a walk. Simpson, who was also walked, was thrown out trying to take third on the play.
The big inning came in the seventh. After two walks and a single, Cabbiness hit the grand slam that electrified the heavily-favored OSU crowd.
However, that excitement quickly went away in the next inning. Ben Leeper came in to pitch and he gave up four hits and three runs. It began with back-to-back singles, two errors and two-run double, before continuing with three more singles and a passed ball for a run.
TCU scored five runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth. Five of the final six OSU outs were strikeouts, capping the total at 17 for the game.
“When we got tied in the eighth inning, we went to our closer hoping to put up a zero, so we could come back in the bottom of the eighth and ultimately play for a win,” Holliday said. “It didn’t happen that way and that’s baseball.”