OSU baseball weekend recap: Cowboys snag two big wins at TCU
STILLWATER — Going on the road to face a top-20 team, Oklahoma State came through big, picking up two wins in a three-game series at TCU.
After dropping the opener, OSU rebounded with a 7-6 win at TCU on Saturday, then a 9-8 win on Sunday.
That makes three wins in OSU’s last four games, all against ranked opponents.
Here’s a look at the weekend at TCU, and what’s ahead for the Cowboys:
Bats come through
Facing a highly regarded pitching staff, OSU kept the offense going.
The big breakthrough came in the top of the ninth inning on Saturday, when home runs by Colin Simpson and Alix Garcia put the Pokes on top.
Andrew Navigato kept the momentum going with a pair of home runs on Sunday, and Carson McCuskar had a two-run single to put OSU on top for good in the ninth.
“You’ve got to go on the road with a toughness about you,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “Our grit and our competitiveness the first game, even though we didn’t win, set the table for a competitive weekend. And then we did a heck of a job Saturday and Sunday, all the way up and down the roster.”
Leeper strong at the back end
Closer Ben Leeper finished the weekend by earning the win on Saturday, then getting his fourth save of the year on Sunday, and was strong all the way through, despite allowing a run for the first time all year.
Entering the ninth inning Sunday, Leeper hadn’t given up a run in his first 14 2/3 innings pitched. Ironically, the run scored on a third-strike wild pitch that would have ended the game.
Over 2 1/3 total innings, he struck out four and has 21 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings for the season, to go with a 0.57 earned-run average.
The Cowboys went deep into the bullpen Sunday, using seven pitchers in all. Peyton Battenfield threw three scoreless innings in relief.
The Pokes are home all week, starting with a Tuesday night clash against Central Arkansas. West Virginia comes to Allie P. Reynolds Stadium for a three-game series beginning Friday.
At 5-1 in Big 12 play and 18-8 overall, the Cowboys are tied for the conference’s top spot. West Virginia comes in at 2-4 with a 16-11 overall record.