LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 9 Oklahoma State pushed the NCAA Lubbock Super Regional to a third and final game Saturday after the Cowboys secured a 6-5 victory over No. 8 Texas Tech in front of a capacity crowd at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
The Red Raiders (43-18) will now need to win Sunday’s rubber match between the two Big 12 rivals in order to advance to the College World Series in Omaha for the fourth time in the past six years. Tech had previously won eight-straight games in the series against Oklahoma State (40-20), including all four meetings this year.
After leading for all but one inning in Friday’s opener, Tech was forced to play from behind for most of the evening after Oklahoma State struck for a run in the first and then two more off a Hueston Morrill home run in the fifth.
Tech answered multiple times, scoring a run in each of the final four frames to eventually take a 4-3 lead midway through the eighth. Oklahoma State responded with a two-run blast to right field from Colin Simpson in the bottom half of the inning to briefly retake the lead.
A leadoff error put Tech back in position to tie the game in the ninth as Gabe Holt reached second to start the frame and eventually scored on a Brian Klein sacrifice fly to left field. Holt finished 2-for-5 at the plate as one of four Red Raiders with multi-hit performances, joining Dylan Neuse (2-for-5), Dru Baker (2-for-3) and Braxton Fulford (2-for-4).
Baker, making his first start since April 30, was the main catalyst offensively for the Red Raiders as he cleverly adjusted his body to slide in safely at home for Tech’s first run in the third and then tied the game with a solo home run in the seventh. It was the third home run of the season for Baker, who added a RBI single in the eighth as part of a 2-for-3 evening with two RBI.
Oklahoma State led off the bottom half of the ninth with a walk to Noah Sifrit, who came around to score on a wild pitch to send the Cowboys to a walk-off win. The Cowboys had previously loaded the bases with only one out in the inning.
Clayton Beeter (0-3) took the loss for the Red Raiders after surrendering the one run in the ninth over his one-third of an inning. He was one of four relievers in place of starter Caleb Kilian, who limited Oklahoma State to three runs off five hits and eight strikeouts in six complete innings.
Ben Leeper (4-3) scored the win on the mound for Oklahoma State after giving up only an unearned run off a hit and a strikeout in his 1.1 innings of work. Like Tech, Oklahoma State also went to its bullpen four times overall after Parker Scott allowed two runs off four hits over six innings.