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Big 12 Tournament: Cowboys Fall To Texas In Championship

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

For the second consecutive year, Oklahoma State came up just short of winning a Big 12 Championship title as the 11th-ranked Cowboys fell to Texas, 6-3, in Sunday's tourney championship game at ONEOK Field.

With the loss, OSU is 37-18 on the season and will now await its NCAA Tournament fate, with the field of 64 being announced Monday at 11 a.m. The 16 NCAA Regional host sites will be announced tonight at 7:30.

A five-run eighth inning for Texas sealed OSU's fate Sunday. The pivotal inning saw the Cowboys commit three errors leading to three unearned runs for the Longhorns (30-25), who secured the Big 12's automatic NCAA tourney bid.

“Congratulations to Texas," OSU coach Josh Holliday said. "From the time we got here on Tuesday to the very end, I thought we were in a really good spot as a ballclub. That's just baseball. Sometimes those innings of back-and-forth like that, that's just part of the game.

“I'm very proud of our team. This tournament was very good for us. There were a number of good outings up and down the staff. We're disappointed that we didn't win that game but excited that we'll have the opportunity to play next week.”

The game's first six innings produced little in the way of scoring for either team.

UT took the game's first lead in the third inning on a two-out RBI single by C.J. Hinojosa, and the score remained 1-0 until the sixth. In the bottom of that inning, Jacob Chappell drew a leadoff walk for the Cowboys, and Gage Green followed with an infield single. Up next, Corey Hassel brought home Chappell with the tying run on an RBI single through the left side.

The Cowboys would be unable to add any more runs in the sixth, however, as Donnie Walton and Dustin Williams struck out to strand a pair of runners on base.

But OSU would take the lead in its next at bat. Tim Arakawa led off the seventh with a walk, and after Garrett McCain was hit by a pitch, a Ryan Sluder sacrifice bunt moved both runners up. Bryan Case then brought home the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout to put the Cowboys up, 2-1.

The lead would not last long as the eighth proved disastrous for the Cowboys.

In that inning, UT leadoff hitter Ben Johnson reached on a fielding error by Walton at shortstop, and after a sacrifice bunt, Chappell booted a ball at third to put Longhorns on the corners with one out. Up next, another sacrifice bunt plated the tying run, and an error on the play made everybody safe. Following a walk that loaded the bases, Zane Gurwitz delivered a two-RBI single down the first base line past a drawn in OSU infield to put the Horns up, 4-2.

UT would push its lead to four after bringing home another run on a safety squeeze bunt and picking up an RBI single from Patrick Mathis.

“We played really good here,” Holliday said. “I'm not going to let one inning stain my vision of the team and where we're at. If you ask us, we anticipate every day to play great baseball. I feel really good about the kids. We got here Tuesday, and I felt like we were in a great frame of mind – we approached the game well, we pitched well and we played tremendous defense except for 10 minutes.

“We encountered some situations in that eighth inning with the game on the line where Texas executed. We will learn from this game. This game won't stain negatively in any of our pockets. I love these kids, and I'm very proud of them.”

Trailing 6-2, the Cowboys mounted a rally in the bottom of the inning and appeared poised to erase their deficit. Green led off the OSU eighth with a single before Hassel reached on an error and Walton singled to load the bases with no outs.

Williams kept things going with a single to center to make the score 6-3, but Arakawa struck out and pinch hitter David Petrino grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.

The Cowboys finished with six hits in the game, with Green and Walton collecting two apiece. Remey Reed suffered the loss on the mound in relief, despite both the runs he allowed being unearned, to fall to 3-2 on the season.

OSU had four players named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team: Dustin Williams (1B), Donnie Walton (SS), Michael Freeman (SP) and Trey Cobb (RP).

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