A pair of standout individual performances carried Oklahoma State to an 8-1 win over West Virginia in Sunday’s series finale at Monongalia County Ballpark.
In helping the 16th-ranked Cowboys improve to 19-9 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 Conference play, freshman Jensen Elliott tossed the first complete game by an OSU pitcher this season, while J.R. Davis became the first Poke to hit for the cycle since 2011.
Elliott’s nine inning effort saw the right-hander improve to 3-1 as he allowed just four hits and struck out four. The lone run he gave up came on a lead-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Davis, OSU’s leadoff hitter, opened the game with a walk, then proceeded to go 4-for-4 with four RBIs as he became the first Cowboy to hit for the cycle since Zach Johnson did it against Kansas State on April 29, 2011.
“Certainly when you come out on day three of a series and you’re trailing 0-2, to get a tremendous start like Jensen provided us is a great place to begin,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “A nine inning complete game against a team that rifled off 11 hits against us (Saturday) tells you a lot about him. He’s a very poised young man who is skilled for his age, probably beyond his years, and has really been extremely solid every single time out – today he was exceptional.
“Then you had a couple of swings that created some separation. J.R. Davis had a big day – hitting for the cycle is not easy to do in the game of baseball.
“I’m proud of the kids for being resilient and bouncing back on the third day after two tough one-run losses. Winning on the road is never easy, and we’ve seen that all year long.”
Davis jump started the Cowboy scoring in the third inning, delivering an RBI triple to left-center field to bring home Collin Theroux. Donnie Walton then gave OSU a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly.
In the sixth, Davis led off the inning with a single, and the Cowboys perfectly executed a hit-and-run when Walton singled to left-center field and Davis raced home to put OSU up, 3-0.
A four-run eighth put the game away for the Pokes. In that inning, Davis smashed his first-career home run, a two-run shot that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center field and into the OSU bullpen. Later in the inning, Dustin Williams delivered a two-run blast of his own, an opposite-field bomb that glanced off the foul pole in left field. Williams’ homer was his Big 12-best eighth of the year and first since March 19.
Leading 8-0 in the ninth, the only drama that remained was if Davis would complete his quest for the cycle and if Elliott could go the distance.
Both Cowboys succeeded.
With Davis due up fourth in the top of the ninth, the Cowboys did their part as Garrett McCain drew a walk and Jacob Chappell singled. Davis then stepped to the plate and laced a double off the wall in left-center to make history.
Elliott lost the shutout on his first pitch in the bottom of the inning and also issued a pair of walks in the frame, but on his 133rd pitch got a groundout to end the game.
OSU returns to action Friday in Stillwater when the Cowboys open a three-game series against league-leading Texas Tech at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.