CWS: Arizona Jumps on Cowboys Early, Forces Do-Or-Die Game on Saturday

Friday, June 24th 2016, 6:58 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

With Oklahoma State only needing one win to get to the Championship Series of the College World Series, the Cowboys came out flat on Friday afternoon and fell to Arizona 9-3 inside of TD Ameritrade Ballpark.

OSU and Arizona will play again tomorrow night, with the winner advancing to the best-of-3 Championship series which is set to start on Monday.

Despite not trailing since arriving in Omaha, the Cowboys quickly saw themselves in an early first inning hole. OSU pitcher Jensen Elliott walked the first batter he faced—which is never a good sign—before giving up a single to Zach Gibbons to put runners on first and second with no outs.

That situation alone is sticky, but Elliott nearly worked himself out of the jam before JJ Matijevic smacked a grounder in the gap between third and short stop with two outs that scored Gibbons from second and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

Arizona’s scoring spree continued in the second frame when Louis Boyd hit a double over the head of Jon Littell that scored Cesar Salazar from second base, but the Wildcats weren’t going to stop there. After scoring a run in the first frame, Gibbons decided to be the guy to hit one in. Gibbons knocked one up the middle that scored Louis Boyd as Arizona built up a 3-0 lead through two innings.

If a run and an RBI wasn’t enough for Gibbons, he added another RBI in the fourth with a sac fly to right field that brought home Salazar for the second time to put Arizona up 4-0 after three and a half innings.

Oklahoma State’s offense finally starting rolling in the bottom of the fourth when Conor Costello made a huge play the Cowboys desperately needed with two outs. The senior out of Edmond drilled the ball down the right field line for a triple that scored Garrett Benge, then Costello was able to score immediately after when Arizona pitcher Kevin Ginkel appeared to spike the ball for a wild pitch.

The Cowboys were able to cut the Arizona lead to 4-2 after four innings, but the euphoria didn’t last too long.

In response to OSU’s sudden hot-streak, Arizona turned to Cameron Ming to take the mound, and the Wildcats’ pitcher was able to impress by retiring the next 12 Cowboys’ batters.

And while the Pokes’ bats were cooling, the Wildcats tacked on two more runs in the top of the eighth after a J.R. Davis throwing error to first kept the inning alive while also scoring Oliva, then Arizona’s Ryan Aguilar hit an RBI single to make the score 6-2.

With the game already in hand, the Wildcats added a few insurance runs in the ninth before OSU's Andy Rosa gave the Pokes another run with an RBI double in the bottom half. 

Both Matijevic and Gibbons finished with three hits apiece for Arizona, while Salazar added a pair of his own.

Costello, Rosa and Garrett Benge were the only three Cowboys players to record hits in the loss, as the Cowboys will have to muster up more offense on Saturday if they want to keep their season alive.