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OSU Baseball: Cowboys Take Two From Grand Canyon

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State clinched its first three-game series win of the season with a pair of victories over Grand Canyon Saturday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

In the resumption of Friday's series opener, which was postponed following just one inning of play due to rain, the 23rd-ranked Cowboys secured a 3-2 win before coming back in the second contest and recording an 11-4 triumph.

With the two wins, OSU improved to 12-6 on the season while Grand Canyon fell to 11-8.

The win in the series opener also marked a milestone for third-year OSU head coach Josh Holliday as he recorded his 100th career victory in his 143rd game. The Cowboys' boss became the sixth coach in program history to reach 100 wins and was the second fastest to ever accomplish the feat (Toby Greene notched his 100th career win in his 140th game, which came in his eighth season).

“Good team wins — pitching and defense stabilized it, and offensively we kind of blew up in that second game and it was probably one of our better offensive games of the season with contributions from a number of players,” Holliday said. “We played well today, and those two games were very important. Hopefully we can get another one tomorrow.”

In the series opener, both teams scored twice in the first inning on Friday, but there would be just one run over the final eight innings Saturday.

That decisive run came in OSU's first at bat of the day. Kevin Bradley led off the bottom of the second with an infield single off GCU's Andrew Naderer and after stealing second, he scored on Jacob Chappell's RBI triple to right-center field to give the Cowboys a 3-2 lead.

From that point, a trio of Cowboy hurlers kept the visitors off the scoreboard. Tyler Nurdin would earn the win with four scoreless frames in relief of Friday starter Jon Perrin as the senior southpaw improved to 1-1 on the year.

With OSU leading 3-2 after five innings, Trey Cobb came on in relief of Nurdin and worked three innings with three strikeouts.

In the ninth, Cowboy closer Koda Glover pitched himself into and out of a jam.

After retiring the first batter he faced, Glover gave up a single to pinch hitter Thomas Lerouge and a double to pinch hitter Greg Saenz. He then struck out pinch hitter Charles Wagner before intentionally walking David Walker to load the bases with two outs.

With the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Glover got Paul Panaccione to ground into a game-ending fielder's choice to notch his third save of the season.

The second game would provide little drama.

OSU jumped on top early compliments of a three-run home run by Conor Costello in the first inning, but the Antelopes quickly tied the score with three runs on five hits off Cowboy starter Carson LaRue in the top of the second.

However, the game would not stay tied long. In the bottom of the second, the Cowboys loaded the bases after Corey Hassel and Chappell delivered singles and Garrett McCain was hit by a pitch. Up next, Tim Arakawa cleared the bases with a triple into the right field corner to put the Cowboys up, 6-3.

In the third, OSU pushed its lead to 8-3 on back-to-back RBI doubles by Hassel and Ryan Sluder, and the Cowboys added two runs in the fifth on RBIs from Chappell and Arakawa. Their final run came in the seventh when Hassel blasted his first-career home run to left field.

Hassel's three hits were a career high, while he tied a career best with two RBIs. Arakawa also set a new career high with four RBIs.

With plenty of offense, OSU turned to Tyler Buffett to relieve LaRue in the third, and the sophomore right hander was superb, allowing just one run on four hits over the final 6 2/3 innings to improve to 1-0 on the season.

The two teams will conclude the series Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at Reynolds Stadium.

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