STILLWATER — Three teams will use O’Brate Stadium for the remainder of the weekend, but none of those teams will be the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State on Saturday was the first team eliminated in the Stillwater Regional, falling 18-4 to Dallas Baptist in the afternoon’s elimination game. It ends OSU’s Big 12 championship-winning season at 41-20.
“This tournament, we simply did not have our rhythm,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We weren’t able to put winning baseball together in either game. But right now, the disappointment, the hurt, the embarrassment, all the things our kids are feeling is overwhelmingly strong. Later will be a lot of moments to be proud of [about the season as a whole]. I hope they’ll cherish those. They were a very fine team.”
The Patriots pounded the Pokes in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, a stretch that saw OSU outscored 18-2. OSU starting pitcher Juaron Watts-Brown was dealing in the first three innings, holding DBU hitless while striking out five, but the Patriots tagged him with shot after shot in the fourth.
Kodie Kolden and Nathan Humphreys hit solo home runs on back-to-back pitches in the fourth. Watts-Brown then struck out Ethan Mann, but the strikeout slider got into the dirt and under OSU catcher Chase Adkison. Scrambling to find the ball, Adkison inadvertently kicked the ball away, and Mann was on first despite the strikeout. After that bit of bad luck, Miguel Santos sent the next pitch over the right-field fence to give DBU a 4-1 lead.
It somehow got worse in the fifth when five DBU hits within a six at-bat stretch scored six Patriot runs. OSU made two pitching changes in that time, but nothing seemed to work.
“That one inning was tough,” Holliday said. “We could not collect an out. Balls were finding holes, they were hitting them off barrel — we just could not collect an out. It was one of those innings where no matter what we went to or tried to do, we could not stop the momentum that they had built for that inning.”
It seemed statistically improbable DBU would continue to drill OSU’s pitching staff in the sixth, but the Patriots did. The inning started with Kolden’s second solo home run of the day to make it 11-1. After a pair of walks, Santos hit his second home run, this one a three-run shot to make it 14-1.
With two outs and a full count in the top of the seventh Mann doubled to right-center. The play scored a run and put runners on second and third, where Santos stepped back to the dish. And you wouldn’t believe it, he homered again. This three-run shot made it 18-1.
Santos finished the day 4-for-6 with three home runs and nine RBIs.
The Cowboys finally ended DBU’s streak of 18 unanswered runs with a pair in the bottom seventh. Adkison and David Mendham each had RBI singles in the frame.
Of the seven pitchers OSU used, everyone but Janzen Keisel allowed a hit, and Keisel and Drew Blake were the only OSU pitchers to not allow a run. Blake and Keisel pitched a combined one 2/3 innings. It was the 11th time this season OSU has allowed double-digit runs.
The Cowboys recorded eight hits Saturday. There was a late battle as to see which Cowboy would end the season atop the home run category. In the second inning, freshman Nolan Schubart hit home run No. 17 of the year. It momentarily tied Roc Riggio for the team lead before Riggio took the lead back with a solo shot in the eighth.
This marks the third straight year the Cowboys’ season has ended in the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament, and it’s the second straight year the Pokes have lost a Regional they’ve hosted. It’s the first time OSU has gone 0-2 in a Regional since 2017. OSU was last in the Super Regional round in 2019 and was last in the College World Series in 2016.
“The game was disappointing today, I totally understand that,” Holliday said. “Disappointed in how it ended, but I don’t think anyone will ever be satisfied until you win the final game. Obviously, we’re not proud of the nature of the game today, but I can’t sit here an be unappreciative or ungrateful for the effort of the ballclub or the way they represented us or the way they played during stretches of the season.
“A disappointing finish, sure, but again, everyone has the right to view the team and the season in whichever way they wish. I will always view this team through all the good things that they did and all the moments that made us proud. Sure, we’re all gonna have a scar from this — no question. There’s no way around that, but if the only way you can celebrate and appreciate a club is by the final result of the last game, there will be a lot of empty seasons in a lot of people’s hearts. So I would hope they would have a bigger view of the club and appreciate all the effort that went into it.”