It was an incredibly disappointing weekend for the No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball team as they lost two of three games to the lowly Kansas Jayhawks, a team that only had one conference win going into this series. The Cowboys drop to 8-4 in conference after this series loss, and are now tied with Oklahoma at the top of the Big 12 standings.
This was a big letdown from a team that was ranked in the top 10 nationally and a team I had hosting a regional in my bracketology earlier this week.
Friday: Oklahoma State 7, Kansas 2
WP: Perrin (3-3) LP: Krauth (5-3) S: Cobb (2)
This game was the lone bright spot from the Cowboys road trip. Jon Perrin got the start for OSU and pitched just like a Friday starter should. Perrin wasn't dominant, but he was in control the whole night. His only blemishes being RBI base hits allowed in the sixth and seventh innings.
Perrrin's line: 6 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts, one walk on 111 pitches.
Perrin had great out distribution in this game, with six strikeouts, six flyouts and five groundouts. This ability to get outs in multiple different ways has been the key to Perrin's success this season. The pitch count was a tad bit high for Perrin in this one, but ultimately the Kansas-native pitched well enough to get the victory.
The offense came from everywhere in this game for the Cowboys, with every hitter reaching base (Gage Green was the only one who didn't record a hit). However, it was a slow start for the Cowboys who didn't score until the seventh inning when Corey Hassel got things started with a bunt single.
The Cowboys bunted two more time in the innings before Tim Arakawa drove in two on a hard-hit single up the middle.
In the eighth inning Bryan Case put three runs across with a bases-clearing double that put the Cowboys up 7-2 and served as a finishing blow.
Trey Cobb pitched the final 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit to lock down the win for the Cowboys.
Saturday: Kansas 3, Oklahoma State 2
WP: Morovick (3-3) LP: Freeman (6-1) S: Villines (8)
An interesting decision was made by Coach Holliday to start Michael Freeman on Saturday instead of Sunday slot he has had for his first eight starts of the season. Freeman pitched very well in this game but didn't receive much help from his defense. Donnie Walton made two uncharacteristic errors in the field that led to runs scoring. Freeman allowed three runs in this game, but none of them were earned.
Freeman's line: 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (0 earned), 3 strikeouts, 2 walks on 109 pitches.
This was a disappointing outing by Freeman's lofty standards, but to most pitchers this was solid. Even though he suffered his first loss of the season, Freeman's ERA is still sitting at 1.29 since all the runs were unearned.
The offense that the Cowboys had on Friday did not show up for the second game of this series. OSU did record nine hits, but they were never able to string anything together other than RBI's from Case and Kevin Bradley in the eighth inning. The Cowboys couldn't manage a single run off Jayhawks starter Drew Morovick.
Sunday: Kansas 4, Oklahoma State 2
WP: Weiman (1-5) LP: Nurdin (1-2) S: Villines (9)
This is the situation where it would be beneficial to have Freeman make the Sunday start; instead it was senior LHP Tyler Nurdin who made his first start since early March. Nurdin had shown signs of improvement throwing out of the bullpen after being taken out of the rotation.
Nurdin didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning in this contest, but things started to go downhill after Kansas got a baserunner. Nurdin allowed two runs in the inning before being lifted in favor of Tyler Buffett, the first of seven relievers used by the Cowboys in the game.
Nurdin's Line: 3 1/3 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout on 54 pitches.
Holliday used the bullpen to piece together the rest of the game, the only blemish being two runs (one earned) scored against RHP Carson LaRue.
The offense wasn't present for the Cowboys for a second consecutive game. The exception being two solo home runs hit by Bryan Case, who had an exceptional weekend at the plate and behind it. Other than Case, the Cowboys could not manage anything on offense in this game.
What we learned:
This team isn't invincible
A streak of 10 straight big 12 series victories was tarnished this weekend, but it was going to happen at some point. I know we all wish it wasn't against a weak opponent like Kansas, but its baseball, teams lose. The key will be how OSU reacts to an undesirable result.
It wasn't the day that cause Freeman to lose
Don't try to criticize coach Holliday for moving Freeman up to Saturday. The reality is Freeman pitch relatively well, but got little defensive help. Freeman is a groundball pitcher and sometimes those groundballs will go for hits or won't get fielded, the day doesn't matter.
Hopefully they can rebound better than the basketball team
Sorry Michael Cobbins, but I had to do it. The Cowboys host an Oral Roberts team that already beat them this season and then Baylor this weekend for a three-game series. This will be a great chance for the team to show that they can bounce back after losing a series that should've been won.