Cowboys Advance To Regional Final, Eliminated From NCAA Tourney
DELAND, Florida - Third-seeded Oklahoma State defeated No. 2-seed South Florida, 6-1, in an elimination game Sunday at the NCAA DeLand Regional before the Cowboys’ season came to an end at the hands of top-seeded and No. 11 national seed Stetson with an 11-1 loss in the Regional Finals at Melching Field.
OSU finished the season with a 31-26-1 record, with 2018 marking its fourth appearance in an NCAA Regional Final in six years under head coach Josh Holliday.
In OSU’s first game Sunday, Jonathan Heasley hurled a complete game gem on the mound while Trevor Boone homered twice as the Pokes knocked off USF (36-22-1) for the second time in the Regional.
Heasley was outstanding as the lone run he allowed was unearned, and he racked up seven strikeouts while allowing seven hits, six of those singles. The sophomore issued only two walks, both of them coming in the ninth inning, and he improved to 4-6 by besting his previous career long outing of 7 1/3 innings earlier this season.
OSU fell behind early when the Bulls plated the game’s first run with two outs in the second inning. Following a double by Kyle Phillips, Garrett Zech laid down a bunt single, and a throwing error by Heasley allowed Phillips to score.
But the Pokes were not down long as they used a two-out rally of their own to take the lead. Christian Funk would score the tying run when he reached the plate following a throwing error by Zech in right field, and after OSU loaded the bases, Matt Kroon drew an RBI walk to give the Cowboys a 2-1 advantage.
Boone would provide OSU’s final four runs as the sophomore center fielder smashed a two-run home run in the sixth to put the Cowboys up 4-1 before another two-run bomb in the eighth provided the final margin.
Boone’s performance marked his second multi-homer game of the season; he also tied a program record with a three-home run game at Baylor on May 12. He finished the season with 10 round trippers, one of three Cowboys to reach double digits in 2018.
Needing to defeat Stetson twice on its home field to advance to a Super Regional, OSU fell short of that goal.
The Hatters used a 10-run third inning to fuel its 18th-straight win as SU collected seven hits against three different OSU pitchers in the decisive frame.
Starter Brady Basso took the loss to fall to 2-5 as the sophomore southpaw surrendered six runs on six hits and exited after two innings.
The Cowboys were held to just three hits in the contest and plated their lone run on an RBI single by Jon Littell in the ninth inning. Stetson right-hander Jack Perkins improved to 11-2 with a complete game, 13-strikeout performance.
OSU had four players named to the NCAA DeLand Regional All-Tournament Team, with Funk, Rosa, Heasley and Colin Simpson earning that honor.