Well, that one was over before it got started.
With a trip to the College World Series championship on the line, Oklahoma State failed to bring the same swagger they brought in the first two games in Omaha. They’ll get another stab at it tomorrow, and will likely face Bobby Dalbec again.
To the game ...
Jensen Elliott took the mound for OSU, and was coming off a stellar outing against Clemson ... But that was 19 days ago. It’s fair to assume that Elliott might have had too much time off in between outings. His command was not as sharp as we saw in the Clemson regional, and he was rattled quickly.
Arizona opened up the game with a run in the 1st inning, and it could’ve been much worse. After holding OSU scoreless in the 1st, the ‘Cats added two runs in the 2nd. Jensen Elliott’s day was over after 2 innings.
Remey Reed came on in the 3rd, and kept Arizona at bay, if only for a little while. Reed went 4.0 IP, gave up 1 ER and struck out 7 (!!!). The seven strikeouts for Reed were a career high.
In the 4th, with Oklahoma State down 4-0, Conor Costello ripped one down the right field line and just past the outstretched arm of the left-fielder, and knocked in Garrett Benge with an RBI triple. A wild pitch would score Costello from 3rd, and that would be the only offense for the Pokes on Friday, aside from an RBI double in the 9th from Andrew Rosa.
OSU scored 3 runs in the game. That’s what made the difference, but things like this don’t help.
Ball beat him there and he didn't touch the bag. Was called safe. https://t.co/dpJW8p0yqa— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) June 24, 2016
A couple infield errors helped balloon the once 4-2 deficit in the 7th to a 9-2 deficit in the 9th.
OSU would eventually fall to Arizona, but all is not lost. OSU will face Arizona again tomorrow at either 2 P.M. or 7 P.M. CST. It will be a winner take all game, with the winner advancing to the CWS championship.
Here are some thoughts I have on today’s game:
- I’m not going to grill this team, the coaches, or anyone else for that matter. OSU had yet to trail in the postseason before tonight. That’s simply incredible. But this was bound to happen at some point. Maybe not to the tune of 9-2, but did we really think OSU was going to go undefeated through Omaha? The postseason? No chance. You were going to drop one at one point, and today is a better time to do that then tomorrow.
- I tweeted this, and got completely roasted for it (deservedly so), but OSU has got to get the bats going if they want to advance, and ultimately win it all. Yes, this is obvious, but it’s true. OSU probably got pretty lucky by pitching two straight 1-0 shutouts in the CWS. Yes, lots of skill and great defensive play goes into that, but that’s not a sustainable style of play. You can’t mow through Omaha and win it all scoring one run a game.
- Who does Arizona throw tomorrow? I said above that Dalbec was probably going to be the guy tomorrow, but he threw 120+ pitches on Monday. With the loss of Nathan Bannister early today, Arizona ran through their bullpen and Cameron Ming, who has dazzled in the CWS, has thrown every game Arizona played so far. With Ming throwing 79 pitches today, Arizona won’t have him available for relief tomorrow. With having already played 4 games in Omaha, Arizona’s bullpen is wearing thin. That’s a good sign for OSU, especially with Hatch on the mound tomorrow.
- Oklahoma State will play, at the minimum, four games in Omaha. Yes, I will be totally crushed if OSU drops two in a row and gets knocked out with a title in sight, but this postseason has been a total success. If you would’ve told me OSU was one win away from the CWS Championship series in May, I would’ve thought you were absolutely crazy. No matter what happens tomorrow, the future is gleaming in Stillwater.