OSU baseball: West Virginia's late rally downs Cowboys
STILLWATER — Members of Oklahoma State’s 1959 national championship team signed autographs on the concourse before the game. Cowboy legend Pete Incaviglia threw out the first pitch.
All that was missing from a glorious Sunday celebration at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium was a Cowboy victory.
West Virginia (19-12, 4-5 Big 12) scored three runs in the final two innings to close the door on a 4-2 victory, holding OSU (19-11, 6-3) to four hits and taking two of three games in the series.
“That game was sitting on a platter for the taking through innings two, three, four, five and six,” said OSU catcher Colin Simpson, who gave OSU a 2-1 lead with a home run in the first inning.
“The way we kept hitting and pressing and trying too hard, it balanced back out. When we got up 2-1, we said, ‘Let’s just hold on and get out of here.’ So that game was not played as well as it should have been.”
OSU starting pitcher Brett Standlee allowed one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts through six innings, overcoming some early hiccups to keep the West Virginia bats quiet.
But the Mountaineers got to the Cowboy bullpen, putting seven runners on base over the final three innings and scoring three times to pull ahead.
“We point to those things, because that’s when the actual number occurred, but the moments in time over nine innings to win the game were plentiful,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We focus on that, but in reality, the bullpen was solid. Kids were in the moment.
“If you sit on a one-run lead, you’re asking for the other team to make a run at you, and they did.”
Having lost three of the last four, the Cowboys hit the road for four straight games, with a Wednesday matchup at Wichita State and a weekend series at Kansas.
After an emotional ceremony to award championship rings to the 1959 championship team on Saturday, the current players appreciated the opportunity to meet them and Incaviglia over the weekend.
Incaviglia, who batted .398 and hit 100 home runs in his OSU career, made a notable impact in the clubhouse.
“That man is a sparkplug,” said Simpson, who caught the ceremonial first pitch. “He’s full of energy, he’s loud, he’s outgoing.
“We talked to him in the locker room. He stood in the dugout during the game yesterday. It was pretty cool to be able to catch that man’s first pitch.”