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OSU Baseball: Season Ends For Cowboys Against St. John's

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State saw its 2015 season come to an end at the hands of St. John's Sunday afternoon as the fourth-seeded Red Storm knocked off the top-seeded Cowboys, 2-1, in the NCAA Stillwater Regional at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

OSU ends its season with a 38-20 mark. This will be the first time in three seasons under coach Josh Holliday the Cowboys haven't reached a Super Regional. 

St. John's (41-15) plated two runs off OSU reliever Trey Cobb in the bottom of the eighth inning to extend its season. The Red Storm had trailed 1-0 since the top of the third, but the Cowboys were unable to hang on.

“That was a tough ballgame,” Holliday said. “I give St. John's a lot of credit — they showed tremendous grit there in the eighth inning coming up with a really good rally that proved to be the difference. They're a quality team.

“It was a pitchers' day. Pitchers battled. Conor (Costello) pitched outstanding and gave us a fantastic effort. That's the most he's thrown in a game this year, and he was really, really special for us.

“We hit some balls hard, hit a lot of balls in the air, and today wasn't the day to do that. As it turned out in the end, too many in the air and not enough on the ground that found holes.”

OSU outhit the Red Storm by a 7-6 count but left six runners stranded on the base paths.

The Cowboys' lone run came in the third. Ryan Sluder and Bryan Case led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Jacob Chappell followed with a sacrifice bunt. After Gage Green lined out to first base, OSU plated a run when Case scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0 before Corey Hassel flied out to leave a runner stranded on third.

OSU clung to the 1-0 lead over the next five innings as Costello was dominant on the mound. In his seventh start of the season, the junior right-hander, who also plays right field and DH for the Cowboys, allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings.

Cobb, who earned the win in relief in OSU's regional-opening victory over St. John's, came out of the bullpen to start the eighth. After hitting the first batter he faced with a pitch, he retired that runner at second when the Red Storm tried a sacrifice bunt.

After a stolen base moved the tying run to second with one out, Cobb struck out Tyler Sanchez. But Alex Caruso walked, and Robert Wayman delivered a single up the middle to bring home the tying run. Up next, Michael Donadio sent an RBI single through the left side to put SJU up 2-1 before Cobb got out of the inning with a fly out.

In the ninth, the Cowboys put the tying run on base after a one-out, infield single by Costello. But Costello was caught stealing at second on a hit-and-run play, and Sluder struck out to end the game.

SJU closer Thomas Hackimer, who suffered his first loss of the season on Friday against OSU, earned the win as he worked the final 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter Chris Kalica.

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