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Cowboy defense outshines bats vs. TCU

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Oklahoma State’s Trevor Boone (33) celebrates with Joe Lienhard (46) after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of a 5-2 win against TCU on Wednesday. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Oklahoma State’s Trevor Boone (33) celebrates with Joe Lienhard (46) after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of a 5-2 win against TCU on Wednesday. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

The Oklahoma State bats brought sizzle to the show, but it was defense that gave the third-seeded Cowboys a 5-2 win over No. 6 seed TCU in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament Wednesday night at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

OSU center fielder Trevor Boone was in the middle of both, making two tough plays on fly balls before he hit a monster two-run home run that carried over the OSU bullpen in left field, and the walkway behind it, hitting The Brick’s back wall.

Colin Simpson had a solo home run and a sacrifice fly, and Andrew Navigato drove in a run with a double to left-center field. Simpson threw out a TCU runner trying to steal second base, and Navigato showed off his glove and his arm on some key plays at shortstop.

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Parker Scott (3-1) kept making things difficult for TCU, allowing a run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six innings to earn the victory. He tipped his cap to the defense as well, in particular, Boone’s sliding catch of a fly ball in the left-center field gap in the first inning.

“They always have my back,” Scott said of the defense. “The first inning would’ve been different if Boone didn’t make that play. After that, I got on a little bit of a roll.”

Logan Gragg threw a pair of shutout innings in relief before handing it over to closer Ben Leeper for the ninth inning.

TCU starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (6-5), a lanky, 6-foot-5 left-hander projected as a likely first-round draft choice, had the Cowboy offense pinned down for five innings. At one point, he struck out eight consecutive OSU batters, going through the meaty part of the order with ease. He finished with 12 strikeouts in seven innings.

“We were facing a pitcher, who in my opinion, has to be the best left-handed pitcher in the country,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We’ve seen him countless times. We have great respect for him. We knew we would have to compete awfully tough.”

Simpson’s solo homer in the second inning was all the Cowboys could manage until the bottom of the sixth. With the game tied at 1, Navigato drove in Cade Cabbiness with a double, and Simpson followed with a sacrifice fly before Boone blasted his 19th home run of the season to left field.

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