OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Cowboys had a strong start to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Tournament as the No. 3 seed came face-to-face with the No. 6 seed TCU and took a 5-2 win advancing to the winners bracket.
The 2017 tournament champions found themselves in an early elimination scenario last season, but tonight was a different story with a four-run 6th inning, excellent defense from both the infield and the outfield, and a strong performance on the mound from sophomore Parker Scott.
Scott, who was informed of his start only a little earlier in the day, allowed only four hits, one being a home run in the third inning, saw 21 at-bats, had four strikeouts, and finished with an ERA of 1.45.
“It’s fun,” Scott said postgame when asked about his six innings on the mound. “It’s rewarding. I’ve been waiting two years to get back in the rotation, so it’s been fun.”
Scott, who has been out of the rotation the past few seasons, dealt with an ulnar nerve relocation, Tommy John surgery, and a followup surgery keeping him off the mound and behind the scenes for two years.
“It’s awesome for him,” Cowboys Head Coach Josh Holliday said of Parker Scott postgame. “He had a long journey back. At times he was very discouraged because he missed pitching. We saw a change in him when he got back to pitching, and we saw a joy in him.”
The Cowboys found a quick lead in B2 when senior Colin Simpson, a player who developed the nicknames “Tank” and “Homer Simpson” over the years, blasted his 13th home run of the season to left field putting OSU on the board first at 1-0.
TCU answered quickly in T3 with a solo bomb of their own coming from redshirt junior Hunter Wolfe. This was his ninth of the season, and it put TCU on the board tying the game at 1-1 where it would remain like this until B6.
With junior Cade Cabiness on 2nd base and freshman Hueston Morrill on 1st, Andrew Navigato got things rolling for the Cowboys with a launch to left field for a 2B RBI sending Cabiness home and putting Morrill in scoring position.
Cowboys leading 2-1
Colin Simpson returns to the plate with 46 RBIs on the season sending a SAC pop to right field, which is caught for a second out, but this allows Morrill to find home.
Cowboys lead 3-1
Trevor Boone really got things going for the Pokes when he popped a massive bomb to the OSU bullpen for his 19th home run of the season, a 2B RBI, and both him and Navigato find home with two outs.
Cowboys lead 5-1
Kicking out the top of the 7th inning, pitching coach for the Pokes Rob Walton retired Parker Scott for the remainder of the game giving junior RHP Logan Gragg the opportunity to take the mound.
Gregg came into Wednesday night’s matchup with a 3-3 record and immediately picked up two quick strikeouts along with an out at 1st base against TCU’s Johnny Rizer.
The Horned Frogs would see one more run as the Cowboys bring junior RHP Ben Leeper to the mound to close the game out. Leeper allowed Jake Guenther to have a solo home run cutting OSU’s lead to 5-2.
Leeper, with the support of the plethora of Cowboy fans in attendance, made his final strikeout in T9 to end the game and give the Cowboys the 5-2 over the Horned Frogs.
The Cowboys advance to the winners bracket and will face the No. 2 seed Baylor, who defeated Oklahoma earlier in the day at 8-2, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs will fight for survival as they prepare to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. where it’s win and advance, or go home.