Oklahoma State completed a two-game midweek series sweep of Alcorn State Wednesday with a 21-0 win at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Led by Gage Green, the 23rd-ranked Cowboys collected a season-high 18 hits and scored runs in each of their at bats as OSU improved to 10-6 on the season.
A trio of pitchers combined for OSU's second consecutive shutout. Starter Garrett Williams was superb, racking up a career-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just one walk and two hits in six innings of work. Tyler Buffett and Trey Cobb closed things out for the Cowboys over the final three innings, combining for five strikeouts and not allowing a hit.
“We pitched extremely well – all three guys that went to the mound threw the ball great, starting with Garrett (Williams),” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday, who notched his 99th-career win. “We played good defense and found a way to score in every inning of the game in a lot of different ways. It was a good team win for us.”
Williams set the tone early, striking out two of the game's first three hitters and then not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. The sophomore southpaw improved to 1-0 on the season and bested his previous career high strikeout total, set last season against UALR, by two.
“I just stuck to my game, and it was good for me to get out there and get in my rhythm and routine and throw strikes,” Williams said. “No matter who you're facing, no matter who is at the plate, you've just got to go out and attack and that's what I did today.”
Run support was no problem for Williams as the Cowboy offense took a 1-0 lead in the first when Green stole home on a double steal. Green finished with a career-high four steals, one shy of Doug Dascenzo's school record, while OSU swiped eight bags in the game, three shy of the school mark.
“We ran the bases aggressively, which is something we like to do and something the game offered to us, so we took full advantage of it,” Holliday said. “That's a piece of our game that when we're going well is one of our weapons so it was good to see that.”
The Cowboys' lineup produced throughout, with 13 different players recording RBIs.
OSU scored multiple runs in six frames, the highlight coming via a seven-run rally in the fifth.
In that inning, Conor Costello provided the big blow with a grand slam, his first of the season, and Kevin Bradley followed with an inside-the-park home run that got past diving ASU center fielder Earl Burl III. The rare inside-the-park homer was OSU's first since Mark Ginther achieved the feat against TCU in 2011.
OSU will continue its nine-game homestand Friday when it opens a three-game series with Grand Canyon at 4 p.m. at Reynolds Stadium.