Originally Published: May 25, 2011 12:11 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY—The No. 4 Oklahoma State Cowboys opened Big 12 Championship play on a bit of a rough start, but the Pokes got a rally going in the sixth to down No. 5 seeded Baylor.
Oklahoma State started the game with strong senior pitcher Mike Strong on the bump for the Cowboys. Strong put forth a good effort but struggled with control early on which the Bears capitalized on.
After two scoreless frames, the Bears opened the third with a leadoff triple followed by a double by Muncy that gave Baylor an early 1-0 lead. Strong would retire the next two BU batters, but the Bears got a clutch, two-out RBI single by Joey Hainsfurther to push their advantage to 2-0.
A collision stopped play for a few minutes after OSU’s Luis Uribe and Davis Duren barreled into foul ball territory trying to make a play and violently collided. Both players were down for a few minutes, but after catching their breath, they both returned to play to finish the top of the third.
OSU head coach Frank Anderson decided to use the pause in action to relieve the struggling Strong on the mound who was replaced by junior Hunter Herrera in the top of the third. Herrera closed out the frame with a big strikeout to retire the Bears who led 2-0.
The Cowboys came alive and broke the no-hitter silence in the sixth.
Johnson started with a single for the Pokes first hit of theday and Davis Duren followed with a walk. Uribe then managed a base hit to score Johnson and put OSU on the board.
Next came Phillips at the plate who knocked one that bounced off the fielder’s glove for a base hit that loaded the bases for Gabe Weidenarr.
With one out and three on, Widenarr connected for a base hit to tie the score 2-2.
The Pokes would score two more runs off two errors by Baylor that started when second baseman Steve DalPorto who made two errors on the same play, booting a ground ball off the bat of Hunter Bailey and then making an errant throw, which allowed the go-ahead runs to score as OSU took a 4-2 advantage.
Herrera and the Cowboys held the Bears in the seventh and eighth.
Oklahoma State added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth off a two run home run from Mark Ginther who blasted a ball to the bleachers in left field. The home run marked Ginther’s 10th of the season and he now has 32 RBI on the year.
Baylor attempted to rally in the top of the ninth with a bases loaded push, but Weidenarr came to the mound for OSU and closed out the game giving the Cowboys a 6-2 win.
Herrera picked up the win to improve to 3-1 as he worked 5.2 scoreless innings and recorded a career-high four strikeouts.
The fourth-seeded Cowboys improve to 35-21 on the season. OSU moves into the division winner’s bracket and will face the Texas-Missouri winner Thursday at 4 p.m.