After falling 9-3 to Arizona on Saturday, the Oklahoma State baseball team’s College World Series run got a little tougher.
OSU suffered its first deficit of the tournament when the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out RBI single from JJ Matijevic.
Arizona’s hot start carried into the second inning after Nathan Bannister shut down the Cowboys at-bat.
The Wildcats increased its advantage 2-0 after Louis Boyd doubled to left field, scoring Cesar Salazar. The hit marked Boyd’s sixth double of the post season.
At this point, Arizona controlled the playing field offensively and defensively. The team looked loose; they were having fun, while OSU looked tense and desperate to get something going. But the Cowboys were struggling at the plate and on the mound.
Zach Gibbons kept Arizona rolling with a two-out RBI single that scored Boyd and recorded his 100th hit of the season.
The three runs given up were the most by OSU in its past five games.
After a rough two innings, OSU made a pitching change, replacing Jensen Elliott with Remey Reed.
The Wildcats also went to the bullpen after Bannister suffered an undisclosed injury. When Arizona head coach Jay Johnson was asked about Bannister’s injury he said he noticed something didn’t look right between pitches so he made the decision to pull him but “he’s a tough kid.”
Shortly after the change, a sack fly from Arizona’s Gibbons gave the Cowboys a 4-0 deficit.
OSU’s bats finally showed some life when Conner Costello stepped up to score Garrett Benge with an RBI triple to right field. Costello then scored on a wild pitch, making it a 4-2 ball game.
By the top of the eighth and a couple of OSU pitching changes later (Carson Teel followed by Garrett Williams), Arizona was out hitting the Cowboys 9-to-2 but the score remained 4-2.
Arizona wrapped with a 9-3 win after Oklahoma State’s shaky defense helped the Wildcats tally five more runs and the Cowboys attempted a ninth inning rally.
Both teams will face-off again Saturday in a must-win matchup to see who will advance to the finals series. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
"Thomas Hatch is going to start for us tomorrow on full rest, and we feel good about that," said OSU head Coach Josh Holliday.