Thomas Hatch is unreal.
The Chicago Cub draftee and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year delivered another dominant start in this postseason, this time leading the Cowboys to a 1-0 win over the University of California Santa Barbara.
Hatch has now pitched 23 innings this postseason, and has allowed a stunning zero runs. Saturday afternoon, Hatch pitched a complete game and helped inch the Cowboys one step closer to a National Championship.
UCSB had base runners early on, as a few walks and a lone error gave the Gauchos a chance to strike in the earlier innings. But Hatch used double plays and 7 strikeouts to keep UCSB off the score board.
UCSB ace Shane Bieber went toe-to-toe with Hatch, going the distance as well and shutting down the potent Oklahoma State offense. Through three innings, neither team could push a run across.
That all changed in the bottom of the fourth, as back-to-back singles by Corey Hassel and Donnie Walton put runners on first and second with no outs. Garret Benge delivered with a single up the middle to make it 1-0. However, Bieber shut down the Cowboys lineup, as the Pokes stranded a pair of runners heading to the fifth.
But that was all Hatch needed.
Hatch got his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth inning, and continued that momentum all the way to the eight inning, as Hatch retired 11 straight at one point.
After giving up a one-out single in the eighth, Hatch got UCSB to ground into an inning ending double play to send the Pokes three outs away from advancing. The offense wasn’t able to give Hatch any run support, but when you have a guy like Hatch on his A-game, one run was all that needed.
A two-out single in the top of the ninth put a little pressure on Hatch to close things out, but Hatch ended the UCSB hopes of a comeback with a strikeout, and the Cowboys are 1-0 in Omaha.
Oklahoma State has still yet to trail to any team this postseason, and will play the winner of Miami and Arizona on Monday at 6 p.m.