The Cowboys of Oklahoma State University came to Austin this weekend for a three-game series. After another frustrating loss in extra innings on Friday evening, Texas bounced back, sweeping a weather-caused double header on Saturday to clench the series. It was Texas’ fourth consecutive series victory in conference play this season, and moved the Longhorns to an 8-3 mark in conference play, 20-13 overall.
Friday evening’s game was a pitcher’s duel from the start. Cowboys ace Andrew Heaney took the mound for OSU and hurled an impeccable 9 innings of 1-run baseball. A pair of doubles and a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the third gave Texas a 1-0 lead, but the Longhorns stranded runners in the fifth and sixth innings, unable to pad their slim lead. Oklahoma State pounced in the seventh, using a leadoff single and a productive ground out to move a runner into scoring position. A relay play from Mark Payton to Jacob Felts left the lead runner for Oklahoma State out at the plate, but when Hoby Milner let a wild pitch loose, a Cowboy run scored anyway. The game remained tied 1-1 through the top of the eleventh, when OSU scored two runs off of Corey Knebel (relieved after three innings of relief by John Curtiss and Dillon Peters) to push the score to 3-1. Texas loaded the bases in the home half of the frame, but eventually went quietly into the showers, unable to answer the OSU rally.
Shortly after the Friday game ended, the chance of impending storms in the Austin area on Sunday caused the teams to shuffle the schedule, moving Sunday’s game to Saturday and creating a double-header. Parker French, originally slated to start Sunday, got the nod for game two of the series, and the freshman did not disappoint.
French reached a career high in both innings pitched (8) and strikeouts (6), shutting out Oklahoma State and scattering six hits throughout his frames. Parker attempted to finish the game in the ninth, but was relieved by Hoby Milner, who induced a double play and fanned a batter to end the game. While the Texas pitchers dominated, the batters picked up them up, scoring two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to earn a 5-0 victory and creating a rubber match for game three.
Ricky Jacquez started the third game of the series, facing off against Vince Wheeland, who pitched all eight innings for OSU. Jacquez lasted four innings and struck out six batters while allowing the only two Cowboy runs of the game to score. He worked himself out of jams in the first, third, and fourth innings, stranding six runners. After Oklahoma State took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Texas answered with a single run in the bottom of the first and again in the third. Freshman outfielder Taylor Stell showed off his prowess on the base paths, stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error before scoring the second run on a groundout. Texas sent freshmen John Curtiss and Dillon Peters to the bump for two innings apiece and the game remained knotted until the home half of the eighth, when Mark Payton stepped to the plate and worked a full count before smashing a home run over the fence in left field. Hoby Milner entered the game in the ninth and earned the save, holding the Cowboys scoreless and preserving Texas’ 3-2 win.
Texas returns to action Tuesday night when Ty Harrington’s Texas State Bobcats make their second appearance of the season at the Disch. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm.
Pictures: Donald Boyles
Cross-Posted from Texas Baseball Blog