Oklahoma State’s Aidan Meola circles the bases after his ninth inning home run sent the Cowboys to the Big 12 Championship Game. (Photo Courtesy of the Big 12 Conference)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
ARLINGTON, Texas – It took two games, but the Cowboys prevailed to win the first game against Texas Tech 8-1 Saturday to stay alive, and then took the second game 6-5 to advance to the Big 12 Championship Game..
Oklahoma State starting pitcher Brennan Phillips went six innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, walked one batter, and struck out seven during the first.
The Cowboys got on the board first during the bottom of the second inning when first baseman David Mendham drove a double down the left field line, scoring Colin Bruggemann to go up 1-0. The next batter, shortstop Marcus Brown drove a single to right field to score Mendham.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Cowboys would put up four runs. Left fielder Nolan Schubart drove a two-run single to center field and Chase Adkison and Carson Benge scored to extend the lead to 4-0.
Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock went to his bullpen early, lifting starter Zane Petty after 2.1 innings and six hits, five earned runs, two walks, and four strikeouts.
Tyler Wulfert doubled to right center field, and Red Raiders center fielder Gage Harrelson bobbled the ball, allowing Wulfert to go to third and Schubart came to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Wulfert would continue his hot day at the plate, singling to the right side of the infield to score Schubart and Benge, making it 8-0.
Cowboys reliever Bayden Root went three innings allowing just one hit, one earned run, walking one batter, and striking out seven.
Oklahoma State 6, Texas Tech 5 – The second game was a win-or-go-home scenario for both programs, and the Cowboys beat the Red Raiders on Aidan Meola’s solo home run to left field, capping the 6-5 victory and earning a berth in Sunday’s Big 12 Championship Game against the TCU Horned Frogs.
The Red Raiders offense exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth. Third baseman Kevin Bazzell drove a single through the right side of the infield and Nolen Hester came in to score the first run of the game. A few batters later, designated hitter Hudson White drilled a three-run home run to left field, scoring Zac Vooletich and Gavin Kash as the Red Raiders took a 5-0 lead.
Red Raiders starting pitcher Robinson went five innings in the second game, allowing four hits, no earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out eight during his performance.
“Kyle Robinson was very efficient, threw the ball really good. That was really good to see. I would say some guys in the bullpen executed some pitches,” said Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock.
The Cowboys wouldn’t get on the board until the bottom of the eighth inning. Beau Sylvester came off the bench to pinch hit for Brennan Holt and he unleashed as two-run home run down the left field line scoring Zach Erhard for the first two runs of the game.
In the middle of Carson Benge’s at-bat, Colin Brueggemann scored on a wild pitch from Red Raiders relief pitcher Ethan Coombes to cut the deficit to two runs at 5-3.
Benge later ripped a two-run single to right field, sending David Mendham and Tyler Wulfert home to tie the game at 5.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Red Raiders relief pitcher Brendan Beckel surrendered a solo homer to pinch hitter Aidan Meola, sending the Cowboys back to the Big 12 Championship Game for the second time in three years.
It was a “long day of baseball. I’ve been talking to players all along that sometimes these days can turn into a magical experience if you approach them the right way,” said Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday. “Put them in perspective for what they have a chance to be. That can be a coming-out party for so many players.”
The Oklahoma State University Cowboys will play the TCU Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Championship Game on Sunday at 6 p.m. EDT on ESPNU.