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Cowboys Drop Regular Season Finale At Michigan

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Oklahoma State concluded the 2015 regular season with a 6-2 loss to Michigan Saturday at Ray Fisher Stadium.

With the loss, the 13th-ranked Cowboys will enter postseason play with a 34-17 record. OSU will open play at the Big 12 Conference Championship in Tulsa Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. as the tourney's No. 2 seed.

The Cowboys managed just four hits and struck out 15 times in Saturday's setback against Michigan (33-23). Remey Reed took the loss on the mound as the right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings to fall to 3-1.

“We had a number of baserunners in the first two games and scored a lot of runs and did a lot of good things, but today was a little bit different and we were a little slow to get going,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We had opportunities, and I was proud of the way we fought back after being down early in the game.

“We gave ourselves a chance and were right there on the doorstep knocking but didn't quite get the blow we needed… It's not the way you want to finish, but this was a very challenging, ambitious road trip starting off with Dallas Baptist (Tuesday night) and to win three out of four on a trip like this is pretty good.”

The Wolverines took a lead they would never surrender with a run in the second and then pushed that advantage to 3-0 in the third when Jackson Glines took Reed deep for a two-run home run to right field.

UM starter Brett Adcock worked just three innings, but the southpaw struck out seven of the 10 Cowboys he faced before Donnie Eaton struck out the side in the top of the fourth.

OSU's offense would finally get going in the fifth. Ryan Sluder got things started with a one-out single, and back-to-back two-out walks to Garrett McCain and Gage Green loaded the bases. That brought up Donnie Walton, who delivered a two-RBI single through the right side before Green was thrown out at third on the play to end the inning.

The Cowboys' one-run deficit remained until the eighth as Tyler Nurdin came on in relief of Reed in the fourth and shut down the UM bats. The senior southpaw worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings and did not allow a hit while striking out four.

OSU just missed out on scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh frames. Tim Arakawa led off the sixth with a double but was stranded at third when David Petrino flew out to the warning track in left field to end the inning. And in the seventh, the Cowboys also had the tying run 90-feet away after Sluder walked before stealing second and third, but Green hit a ball that was hauled in on the right-field warning track to end the threat.

Michigan plated three insurance runs in the eighth against OSU relievers Garrett Williams, Carson LaRue and Koda Glover to seal the win.

Despite the loss, Holliday said his ballclub heads into the postseason confident and on a mission.

“From start to finish, this team has been tough, they've been consistent, and I appreciate their effort a great deal,” Holliday said. “If not for five games we lost due to weather, this is a potential 40-win team – as it stands, we're at 34 wins, which is pretty darn good. We finished second in our conference, which I'll never turn my nose up at. As much as you want to win the thing, you also have to be appreciative of the challenge the Big 12 provides.

“This particular group of Cowboys has played awfully well, and now we go to the conference tournament and begin a quest for a Big 12 championship via tournament-style.”

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