Oklahoma State’s Thomas Hatch recorded his third consecutive shutout Friday night at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium as the 14th-ranked Cowboys defeated Prairie View A&M, 9-0, to extend their winning streak to four games.
Hatch’s shutout makes him just the eighth OSU pitcher to ever record three shutouts in a single season and the first Cowboy since Andrew Heaney in 2012 to achieve that feat. The Big 12 Conference record for shutouts in a season is four, which was set by Nebraska’s Shane Komine in 2000 and equaled by Aaron Crow of Missouri in 2008.
“When Thomas pitches that way, it doesn’t matter who the other team is or what their record is – he was simply excellent,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday.
The Cowboys improved to 29-15 behind Hatch’s shutout, while Prairie View A&M fell to 10-31.
Hatch’s impressive showing saw his consecutive streak of innings without allowing an earned run increase to 35 1/3, while the right-hander has now tossed 29 1/3 consecutive scoreless frames.
While Hatch, who improved to 5-1 on the season, was dealing on the mound, the Cowboys got the only offense they would need in a four-run third inning.
J.R. Davis got things started with a single up the middle to give OSU its first hit of the contest, and after Corey Hassel singled and Donnie Walton walked, the bases were full of Cowboys. Garrett Benge then brought home the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly as he lifted a ball to right field that Prairie View’s Joseph Mack couldn’t keep in his glove to bring Davis home from third.
Up next, Conor Costello cleared the bases with a double to the wall in left center to extend the Cowboys’ lead to 4-0. Costello led the way for OSU offensively as the senior went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the contest.
Three innings after OSU opened the scoring, the Cowboys would bat around and bring five runs across the plate in the home half of the sixth to pad their lead.
Dustin Williams opened the inning with a double to left center, which was followed by a four-pitch walk from Jon Littell. Davis then brought home both Cowboys as he doubled to left field to put the Cowboys up 6-0.
With Davis on second and only one out, Hassel added two more runs to OSU’s total as he sent a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field for his third home run of the season. The Cowboys added a fifth run in the inning on an error to push their lead to 9-0.
After retiring the first 18 batters he faced, Hatch’s perfect game was broken to open the seventh inning when Nick Gurka singled through the left side of the infield. The next batter up, Kevin Macias, blooped a ball to right field that a diving Corey Hassel was unable to snag, giving Prairie View its second base runner of the game.
After the back-to-back singles to leadoff the inning, Hatch settled back in and struck out Cody Den Beste for a third time and then induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to get out of the jam.
The right-hander then finished off the final two frames by retiring all six batters he faced to complete the shutout. Hatch surrendered just the two hits and set a career high with 11 strikeouts while only throwing 93 pitches.
“It starts on the mound and, once again, Thomas was excellent,” Holliday said. “To strikeout 11 and throw a complete game while still being under 100 pitches is pretty difficult to do. He attacked the strike zone, the catcher did a nice job, our infield defense was solid and our outfield made some plays.”
The teams will return to action for game two of the weekend series tomorrow at 3 p.m.