OKLAHOMA CITY – The Bricktown Ballpark was painted orange on Friday night as the Oklahoma State Cowboys shutout the Harvard Crimson at 2-0 to advance in the OKC Regional sending Harvard to the losers bracket.
The Cowboys came in as the No. 1 seed landing the hosting position for the regional after claiming the Big 12 Tournament Championship title last week pushing them to a No. 9 ranking nationally with a 36-18 record.
Harvard landed the No. 4 seed in the regional with a record of 26-14, and junior RHP Hunter Bigge was on the mound to kick things off for the Crimson.
Jensen Elliott took the mound for the Pokes with four straight wins, and he finished the night pitching seven shutout innings with four strikeouts, one walk, and three hits where all three hits resulted in stranded 1B’s.
The Pokes made an appearance on the board quickly in the bottom of the first where 3rd baseman Christian Funk kicked things off with a 1B. Senior Colin Simpson followed with a 1B of his own allowing Funk to find 3rd, and Andrew Navigato racked up another RBI sending Funk home with a 1B of his own.
Pokes lead 1-0
As both Bigge and Elliott pitched efficient games backed by their defense, the Pokes didn’t find the board again until the bottom of the fourth where a wild pitch from Bigge allowed Navigato, who found 3rd after Trevor Boone hit a nice drive up the middle for a 1B, stole home with ease advancing the Cowboys to 2-0.
Pokes lead 2-0
Elliott kept the Crimson off the board for seven shutout innings before being relieved by junior Peyton Battenfield, who quickly put Harvard to rest in two innings with four strikeouts in only seven at-bats allowing only one hit.
“Honestly, the game is over when it gets to Peyton,” Elliott said of Battenfield postgame. “Usually he matches my seven innings with K’s in two innings, so that doesn’t feel very good, but Peyton does a great job, so I’m very confident whenever we hand the ball to him.”
Battenfield shutout the Crimson quickly to give OSU the 2-0 win, and Harvard will face a matchup against UCONN tomorrow at 1 p.m. to fight for survival in the regional.
“We just have to get back to work tomorrow,” Head coach of the Crimson Bill Decker said postgame. “For us, it’s just staying in a good spot. Our guys know how to work and how to prepare, and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
The Cowboys will take on Nebraska in the winners bracket tomorrow at 7 p.m.
“We’ll get back to the hotel and take a look at Nebraska,” Head coach of the Cowboys Josh Holliday said postgame. “We have Parker [Scott] ready. When you come into days like today, you’re scrambling to get all your work finished and be ready for all three teams in the tournament, but mainly the team we played today because this game was the most important one. We’ll get our thoughts sorted out and have a good plan.”