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RECAP: Cowboys Squeak Out 12-10 Victory in Series Opener

What an ugly way to start such a big series.

Colin Simpson (24) is congratulated by Garrett Benge (7) after Simpson hit a home run.
Jackson Lavarnway/O’Colly


  • OSU won.
  • Colin Simpson and Garrett Benge continue to swing the hot bats.

Yyyyyyyyup that’s about it.

There wasn’t much to be proud of in tonight’s game, as it was a straight-up ugly ball game. Thankfully, the Cowboys’ level of ugly was slightly less than the Red Raiders’ level, because OSU was able to emerge victorious 12-10 in the first game of this important series.

Garrett McCain continued his dominance at the plate, going 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored. It was McCain that opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning with a three-run home run.

He plated his other two RBIs as part of the monstrous sixth inning (more on that later).

Colin Simpson was the other half of the Cowboy’s battering ram tonight, knocking in four RBIs of his own and crossing the plate once on his own home run.

Starting pitcher Joe Lienhard threw five innings tonight, surrendering four runs on six hits, walking four and striking out six. He threw 103 pitches in what I am sure was not what Coach Josh Holliday was looking for from his starter.

Lienhard gave way to Jake Cowan, who had an outing that forced me to walk away from my computer and go grocery shopping. Seriously.

In 2/3 of an inning, Cowan surrendered four runs (only two earned) on three hits, walked one and didn’t strike anyone out. Now it wasn’t all Cowan’s fault I know, but it was while he was pitching the sixth I had to leave.

Carson Teel came in to work the last of the sixth and the seventh and ultimately earned the win to move to 3-3 on the year. He gave up one hit and one walk, while striking out three in the 36 pitches he threw.

Trey Cobb, who was hoping to not have to go tonight, ended up coming in and throwing two innings, giving up one hit and one run in the ninth while striking out four batters en route to his second save of the season.

The Cowboys did a good job shutting down Hunter Hargrove like I suggested in the preview, but the Red Raiders found offense around him.

Josh Jung was 4-for-6 on the evening. He had three RBIs and two runs scored. He was the one to hit the home run off Cobb in the ninth and made Cowboy fans groan “oh not again” and reach for their drinks.

Something that I think will benefit the Cowboys is Texas Tech used seven pitchers tonight for a combined total of 195 pitches. Erickson Lanning, the starter, only went one inning, and no other pitcher went more than 2.1 innings. It was Jake McDonald who absorbed the loss, even though he was one of the better TTU pitchers tonight.

Now...time to expand on why this game was awful to watch.

  • The sixth inning lasted over an hour.
    Yeah. Seriously. One inning lasted over an hour. In that inning, 12 runs, eight hits and two errors were committed between the two teams. There were 20 batters that came to the plate between the two teams. Everyone thought the Cowboys had blown it open with their six-run inning, until Texas Tech said “oh yeah? Watch this.” and put up a six spot of their own. The entire game lasted four hours and 12 minutes. I was watching the Twins game concurrently and it started 40 minutes after the OSU game and was still done a half hour before the OSU game was. That rarely happens - especially considering neither game went into extras.
  • Errors
    The Cowboys appeared to have forgotten their fundamentals tonight. They had five errors on the evening. That’s atrocious. In that God-forsaken sixth inning, there was an OSU error that - if fielded correctly - would have saved two runs and and three batters faced. TTU had two errors, which was better than OSU, but still not good.
  • Walks
    To me, walks almost as bad to watch as errors. Between the two teams, 15 walks were issued tonight. That’s rough. Only one walk resulted in a run, and that was a Garrett Benge walk in the top of the sixth, but regardless, still rough. Lienhard had an extremely tough time finding the zone tonight, throwing only 56 of his 103 pitches for strikes, and only 12 of the 26 batters faced saw first pitch strikes.
  • The scores were unusual.
    How many times do you see a 12-10 final score in baseball? Not often. Well, nobody told the Big 12 that tonight, as there were abnormal scores all around the league.

These look more like softball scores than baseball scores to me, but whatever.

The important thing here is the Cowboys got the win. In the end, that’s the most important thing. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., the teams will mix it up again on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. It’s a battle of the aces, as Tyler Buffett (5-2) takes the hill for the Cowboys while Steven Gingery (7-0) tries to maintain his perfect record for the Red Raiders. And let’s all pray the game isn’t as tough to watch as it was tonight.