Blake Battenfield had a career day on the mound, and Oklahoma State got some late clutch hitting en route to a 3-0 win over New Mexico in its midweek series opener Tuesday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
With the win, OSU snapped the Lobos' seven-game winning streak as the 18th-ranked Cowboys improved to 10-6. UNM, the top-ranked team in this week's NCAA RPI, fell to 11-4.
In limiting New Mexico – which came into the game second in the NCAA with a .358 team batting average – to just one hit, OSU recorded the 35th one-hit pitching performance in program history and just the sixth in a game that went nine innings; it was the 13th combined one-hit game for the Cowboys and first since 1993.
Battenfield was dominant as the junior right-hander worked seven scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, that a hard-hit single that glanced off third baseman Garrett Benge, and racked up a career-high six strikeouts on 105 pitches. In only his second start of the season and fourth of his career (in 64 appearances), his seven-inning effort bested his previous career-long outing by two innings.
Through six innings, Battenfield and UNM starter James Harrington matched putting zeroes on the board.
OSU didn't get its first hit until a single by Andrew Rosa with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, and after 6 ½ innings the game was scoreless.
But in the seventh, OSU drew a pair of walks against UNM reliever Brandon Langan, and Jon Littell made the Lobos pay as he stepped to the plate with two outs and delivered an RBI single up the middle off Cody Dye to bring home the first run. The Cowboys tallied another run on the play as center fielder Luis Gonzalez' throw sailed into the visiting dugout to advance Rosa home and make it 2-0.
The Cowboys added an insurance run in the eighth, again with two outs, when Garrett Benge blasted his second home run of the season over the right-field wall.
Following the impressive outing by Battenfield, Jake Cowan came out of the bullpen and worked 1 1/3 perfect innings. Cole Hearrean recorded the second out in the ninth, and Jonathan Heasley got a fly out to end it, sealing OSU's second shutout of the season and recording his third save.
The two teams will conclude the series with a 4 p.m. game Wednesday at Reynolds Stadium.