STILLWATER — The Cardiac Cowboys took O’Brate stadium on a ride full of ups and downs, but after a dozen innings, their amazing comeback fell short.
Oklahoma State fell to Oral Roberts 15-9 in 12 innings on Tuesday night in O’Brate Stadium. The Cowboys came back from an eight-run deficit to force extras, but the Pokes couldn’t overcome a 12th-inning Golden Eagle rally.
“It was a unique game,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We clearly got beat the first half of the game. We clearly won the second half of the game, which was enough to push it to extras, and they clearly won extra innings. That’s what it boils down to. We got beat tonight. They did a really good job as a team.”
Down 9-1 in the sixth, Nolan McLean stepped to the plate with Hueston Morrill on first and two outs. McLean hit an infield single and started the Cowboys rampant comeback. After a David Mendham walk loaded the bases, Griffin Doersching drove a ball into left, scoring a pair. Marcus Brown then looped a ball into left that got past the fielder, resulting in a triple that scored two more. That cut ORU’s lead to 9-5.
OSU put up two more runs in the seventh when Caeden Trenkle tripled to right-center scoring Jaxson Crull. A Jake Thompson groundout then scored Trenkle. It was 9-7.
The Golden Eagles’ lead was fully erased in the eighth with another two-out rally. Down 0-2 in the count, Chase Adkison willed a ball up the middle to get the Pokes’ going. Brett Brown then singled through the left side, moving Adkison to third. Trenkle singled to score Adkison. Morrill singled to score Brown. And the game was tied at 9. The Cowboys did leave the bases loaded that inning and failed to score in the next four innings.
Of the nine runs the Pokes scored, six came with two outs.
“Once we tied the game, we didn’t play with the same kind of courage in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings on offense,” Holliday said. “I didn’t think our at-bats were good at all in those last three innings.”
It fell apart for the Cowboys in the 12th. Connor Beichler started the inning with a single. He advanced to second on a failed pick-off attempt before advancing to third and scoring on a pair of wild pitches. And it didn’t stop there. The Golden Eagles piled on five more runs before Jimmy Ramsey, the eighth pitcher OSU used in the game, got out of the inning. It was Ramsey’s second appearance as a Cowboy.
The wind was gusting out to left field, but overall, it wasn’t a good day for the Cowboys’ pitching. Of the guys who pitched at least two innings, only Ryan Bogusz and Nolan McLean didn’t give up a run. The Cowboys were put in a big hole from the start as Trevor Martin, Mitchell Stone and Kale Davis combined to give up nine runs in the first five innings.
“We didn’t pitch good tonight, but we didn’t play good defense behind it either,” Holliday said. “We didn’t play a clean game. They had something to do with it, but we weren’t sharp as a team.”
In the midst of all that chaos, McLean was nails on the mound. He came on in the ninth after playing the first eight innings at third base. He pitched two innings where he allowed no runs off one hit while striking out five of the seven batters he faced. In his first inning, he hit 100 MPH on the in-stadium gun. While striking out the side, all of his pitches that inning where between 95 and 100 MPH apart from his last strikeout pitch, an 80 MPH slider.
McLean did, though, struggle at the plate, going 1-for-6 with four strikeouts.
The Cowboys will have to flush this rollercoaster of emotions quickly. A ranked TCU squad is headed to O’Brate for a three-game Big 12 series. First pitch for Friday’s contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“I’m not gonna get down and act like the world’s going to end because it’s not,” Holliday said. “We lost a baseball game where the other team played better than we did. That’s all there is to it. But we were on the verge of an amazing comeback. We know it’s in there, we just didn’t finish the job.”
Josh Holliday’s Postgame News Conference
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