Comeback Cowboys Do It Again
STILLWATER, Okla. – Tim Arakawa's two-RBI walk-off single lifted 15th-ranked Oklahoma State to a 7-6 series-clinching win over Texas-Pan American Saturday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Arakawa's game-winning hit came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Cowboys improved to 14-6 on the season. The victory marked OSU's eighth come-from-behind win of the year, and coach Josh Holliday's club is now 5-0 in one-run games in 2014.
OSU trailed 6-5 entering its final at bat when Arakawa stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. The junior worked a 3-2 count against UTPA's Matthew Harrell before driving the ball through the right side to bring home the tying and winning runs.
"I needed to battle right there and have a little confidence at the plate," Arakawa said. "I was just looking for a strike and trying to put a good swing on it.
"You're always nervous when you're coming up with the bases loaded, two outs and down one. But you've just got to calm those nerves and take a few deep breaths."
The Cowboys battled from behind throughout the contest.
UTPA (10-11) took an early lead off Thomas Hatch with two runs in the first inning, but OSU answered to tie the score at 2-2 in the second on back-to-back RBI singles by Dustin Williams and Ryan Sluder.
In the fourth inning, the Broncs added two more runs, but their lead was short lived as the Cowboys once again tied things up in the bottom of the frame. This time it was Craig McConaughy coming up big as he delivered a two-out, two-RBI double down the left field line to knot the score at 4-4.
The Broncs recorded their third two-run inning in the sixth, getting an RBI double from Blake Thomas before a passed ball put them up by a 6-4 margin.
But that was all UTPA would get. Trey Cobb came up big out of the OSU bullpen, working 3.1 scoreless innings and striking out a career-high six.
After allowing his only two hits of the game with two outs in the top of the ninth, Cobb gave way to OSU closer Brendan McCurry, who came on and induced a groundout to strand Broncs on second and third.
That set the stage for the ninth-inning heroics. Gage Green led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Corey Hassel.
Up next, Sluder sent a grounder to shortstop, but Jesus Garcia couldn't make a play and the error put Cowboys on first and third with one out.
That brought pinch hitter Aaron Cornell to the plate, and the senior laid down a bunt that Harrell fielded and threw home to nail Green at the plate.
With runners again on the corners, Saxon walked to load the bases and bring up Arakawa, who delivered the clutch hit to set off an OSU celebration.
"Great win," Holliday said. "Texas-Pan American played us three excellent games, and our kids battled their hearts out in all three. They found a way today to come out on the right side of the board, and it took the last strike of the game before it happened.
"I'm happy for Tim (Arakawa) – he hit the ball hard all day long and hadn't found any luck. He got another one on the barrel there and found a hole. And good for our team. You saw a team that grinded and battled awfully hard, and we were just waiting for that one moment to get the lid off of it. Luckily it came there at the end."
Arakawa was one of four Cowboys, along with Saxon, Green and Sluder, to finish with two hits in the contest.
OSU returns to action Tuesday when the Cowboys travel to Springfield, Mo., to take on Missouri State. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.
Second Straight Walk-Off Win for Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team won its third straight extra-inning game with a 6-5 final over Belmont at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Saturday afternoon. Sophomore first baseman Anthony Hermelyn delivered the game-winning run with his third RBI of the day on a double to left-center in the bottom of the 11th inning. The win moved the Sooners to 14-5, while the Bruins fell to 7-11.
"We had an opportunity to really get this game going in our direction and not look back and we just didn't do it," said coach Pete Hughes. "We've got to be able to keep the ball out of the infield. We've got to do a better job. I think our guys are frustrated with leaving too many guys out there. Hopefully that'll change once we head into conference play."
Oklahoma held a one-run lead heading into the ninth inning, but couldn't hold on. Belmont's rally started with pinch-hitter Matt Kinney striking out, reaching on a passed ball and advancing on an error. After a sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a base hit, the Bruins had runners on the corners with nobody out. Belmont then executed a successful safety squeeze as center fielder Drew Ferguson brought in Kinney from third.
Freshman third baseman Sheldon Neuse led off the bottom of the 11th and hit a sharp liner at the feet of the Bruin pitcher and arrived safely at second after the ball was fielded and thrown over the outstretched glove of the first baseman. With no outs, Hermelyn was unsuccessful in trying to sacrifice Neuse to third and was given the sign to swing with two strikes, setting up the game-winning hit.
Sophomore right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. improved to 2-0 in a three-inning effort. He allowed one unearned run on one hit and one walk, while striking out five. Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick pitched five innings in the start before the game went into a rain delay. He surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks, but struck out seven.
"Choplick did a good job," recalled Hughes. "When he gets to 98 [pitches], we're not sending him back out even if there's not a rain delay. We can afford to do that because we trust in the guys that are in the bullpen behind him. Kindle's a calming presence and he's never going to get beat walking people or giving extra base runners. He's going to pitch to contact and control the running game. Ralph Garza, Jr. was awesome."
Belmont got the Choplick early with a run just two pitches into the game. Ferguson doubled on the first pitch of the morning and scored one pitch later on a single to left-center by second baseman Alec Diamond. The Sooners answered with a pair in the home half of the first. Neuse picked up a RBI triple and scored on a sac-fly by Hermelyn.
The Bruins didn't trail for long as they got a two-out rally going and tied the game on a Diamond base hit through the left side. Right fielder William Dodd gave Belmont the lead back on a two-run home run skied to left field in the fifth inning.
After a one hour and eight minute rain delay, which OU went into trailing 4-3, senior right-hander Kindle Ladd came on in relief and threw three-shutout innings. He struck out a pair and gave up just two hits. In the last three games, Ladd has totaled eight-scoreless innings and five strikeouts.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Sooners loaded the bases with nobody out on an error, single and a walk. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana tied the game on a base hit up the middle, but Belmont was able to limit the damage with a pop fly and a 4-6-3 double play.
Oklahoma grabbed its first lead since the end of the first in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, junior catcher Mac James singled up the middle and was brought around to score on a triple by sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas).
Lefty Dan Ludwig pitched five innings in the start, prior to the rain delay, for Belmont. He allowed three runs, only one earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. The loss went to Christopher Carroll (2-1), who pitched for the second straight day. He went three innings and gave up one run on one hit and three walks.
For the game, Neuse went 2-for-6 with three runs, two triples and a RBI. James finished 3-for-5 with a run, bouncing back after his nine-game hitting streak was snapped on Friday. Hermelyn drove in three runs on a 2-for-4 day.
Ferguson and Diamond each recorded three-hit days for the Bruins; going 3-for-4 and 3-for-5, respectively.
The series wraps up on Sunday with first pitch between Oklahoma and Belmont scheduled for noon.
ORU drops a pair to NWLA in doubleheader, 3-1 and 6-4
Tulsa, Okla. – Northwestern State earned a doubleheader sweep on Saturday afternoon as the Oral Roberts University baseball team dropped two to the Demons in the Southland Conference opening series. The Demons won the series with a 3-1 extra-inning victory over the Golden Eagles in game one, and a 6-4 win in game two.
The two losses for ORU moved its overall record to 8-10 this season with a 1-2 conference record, while the Demons improved to 2-1 in the SLC and 9-9 overall.
Matt Brandy extended his SLC leading hitting streak to 19 games with a couple of singles on the day. Jose Trevino had a pair of hits in game two, including a double, and Emmanuel Forcier had a double in each contest.
In the second game, Graham McIntyre earned his first Division I triple off the top of the wall.
Jordan Romano (1-1) took the loss in the first game after allowing two runs in 1.2 innings, with both runs coming in the top of the tenth. Guillermo Trujillo pitched well to start the first contest as he went a scoreless 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts. However, a 36 minute rain delay forced the end to his day.
Picking up his first victory of the season was Andrew Adams who entered game one in relief and threw 2.1 innings, allowing just one ORU hit. Steven Spann (3-3) earned the save in the first game, and returned in the second game for the victory in 3.2 innings of work.
Pepe Gomez (0-2) took the loss in the nightcap as he went just two-thirds of an inning and allowed two runs.
ORU's lone run in the first contest came in the bottom of the third as Anthony Sequeira and Forcier had back to back doubles down the right field line with Forcier driving in Sequeira for the first run of the ball game.
Trujillo was pitching well through the first five innings, including striking out the side in the top of the fifth, but did not return to the game after the rain delay with one out in the top of the sixth.
The Demons tied the game in the top of the eighth on single to left by Chase Daughdrill that plated Caleb Dugas.
Dugas led off the top of the tenth inning with a double and Cort Brinson was struck by a pitch with no outs. A few batters later, Nathan Lyons ripped a double just inside the left field line to drive in Dugas and Brinson, giving the Demons the 3-1 victory.
Both teams battled in a back and forth game in the nightcap. The Golden Eagles took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI double into the left field corner by Trevino to drive in Brandy.
However, the Demons answered with a pair of runs in the next half inning, using a sacrifice fly and wild pitch to take a 2-1 lead.
McIntyre started the bottom of the third inning with a triple off the top of the wall and scored on a Logan Domenico single to right field to knot the game at two runs apiece.
Both teams scored runs in the sixth inning, with the Demons taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning as Regan Kaufman flew out to center, deep enough to score Joel Atkinson.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Golden Eagles took the lead for the second time in the ballgame. With Trevino third base and Tyler Boss on second, Sequeira hit a roller up the first baseline, allowing Trevino to cross the plate to tie the game at three. Afenir followed with a deep fly ball to the warning track in right to plate Boss to give the Golden Eagles a 4-3 lead.
Unfortunately, Matthew Alford scored on an error that would have been the third out in the top of the seventh and Edwin Gomez scored on an RBI single by Brinson to make the score 5-4 NWLA.
The Demons added their final run of the evening in the eighth inning as Gomez singled to center to score Lyons.
ORU will look to get back on track on Wednesday evening at J.L. Johnson Stadium as the Golden Eagles host new Southland Conference member Incarnate Word in non-conference action. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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