|W - Hackerott (4-1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0|
|L - Curran (0-2)||2.0+||1||2||0||1||1|
|S - McCurry (17)||2.0||1||0||0||0||1|
|OSU - Cornell||5||1||2||3||0||1|
|OU - Neuse||5||2||4||2||0||0|
OKLAHOMA CITY – Three costly errors and a three-run home run led to the end of the season for the University of Oklahoma baseball team in an 11-8 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State in front of 5,542 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Friday night. The Sooners end year one of the Pete Hughes’ era with an even 29-29 record. The Cowboys advance to face Texas in the Big 12 Championship semifinals on Saturday afternoon with a 43-15 record.
Oklahoma committed its third error of the night to open the top of the eighth and OSU bunted the runner into scoring position. After a passed ball, the Sooners issued an intentional walk to put runners on the corners with one out. The Cowboys attempted to squeeze, but freshman right-hander Sheldon Neuse (Fort Worth, Texas), who started at third base, jumped off the mound and threw home for the second out. With two on and two gone, left fielder Aaron Cornell drilled a three-run shot into the left field bleachers to break an 8-8 tie and put Oklahoma State on top for good.
“A tremendous college baseball game," stated Hughes. "Two tough programs, two programs that battled, and that was a great game going back and forth. That’s what college baseball is all about. There were a lot of ups and downs, and in the end, I think the team that played better defense and got a bigger hit won. That is what usually happens in hard fought battles. I’m really proud of our guys; they showed some resiliency and they were some guys that could have packed up a long time ago, but they show up and play every day and they play well when they are behind. It was just a lot of fun to be around here the last couple of days. ”
It was a back-and-forth game with the Cowboys jumping on the board quickly with two runs in the first, First baseman Tanner Krietemeier plated two runs on a double to left-center. The Sooners answered immediately in the bottom of the first when sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley (Nacogdoches, Texas) ripped a double over the glove of the third baseman with the bases loaded to tie the game at two.
Oklahoma State grabbed a brief 3-2 lead when sophomore second baseman Kolbey Carpenter (Waco, Texas) dropped a pop-fly in shallow right field that allowed a run to come in with two outs in the fourth. Oklahoma posted four runs in the home half and had its first lead of the night at 6-3.
The bases were loaded with only one out and sophomore center fielder Craig Aikin (Coppell, Texas) drove in two with a base hit through the left side. Senior shortstop Hector Lorenzana (San Diego, Calif.) was then hit by a pitch to load the bases again and Neuse added to the Sooner lead with a two-run single through the left side.
In the top of the sixth, the Cowboys put together a four-run inning of their own. The first five hitters reached on four singles and a walk to bring in three runs, including a wild pitch, and tied the game. OSU took the lead on a sacrifice-fly from right fielder Conor Costello.
Trailing 8-6 after the seventh inning stretch, OU rallied one last time to tie the game at eight. Neuse singled and scored on a triple to deep left-center by junior Mac James (New Braunfels, Texas). Haley delivered James to the plate with a line drive, sac-fly to right.
Redshirt-sophomore lefty Adam Choplick (Denton, Texas) pitched five-plus inning for Oklahoma. He matched a career-high with eight strikeouts and allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits, six walks and two hit batsmen. Sophomore lefty Jeffrey Curran (Long Beach, Calif.) took the loss and finished the season 0-2. In two-plus innings of relief, he allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits.
For Oklahoma State, lefty Alex Hackerott (4-1) earned the win in 0.2 inning of work as he retired the only two batters he faced. Right-hander Tyler Buffett surrendered six runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out two in a 3.1-inning start. Right-hander Brendan McCurry nailed down his 17th save of the season in two innings of work.
Neuse finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while Aikin and Lorenzana each added two-hit games.