Oklahoma State erupted for nine runs in its first at bat and cruised to a 13-0 win over Alcorn State Tuesday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The game marked OSU's highest-scoring output of the season and second shutout as the 23rd-ranked Cowboys improved to 9-6 on the season.
In that pivotal first inning, head coach Josh Holliday's ballclub sent 13 batters to the plate and racked up seven hits to seize momentum.
“It's good to come out and put up a big number, and we pitched awfully good behind that and played good defense,” Holliday said. “We had a little lull in the middle of the game, but when you pull out early in the game, it sometimes affects your edge a little bit and we kind of settled in and rode some good pitching.
“We got a lot of guys off the bench involved, which is important, and it was a good team win for us.”
In the big first inning rally, Gage Green collected a pair of RBI singles, while Jon Littell and Ryan Sluder also had RBI singles. Also driving in runs were Andrew Rosa, who delivered his first hit of the season with an RBI double, and Tim Arakawa, who added to his team leading RBI total by plating two runs with a double.
With a 9-0 lead to work with, OSU starter Conor Costello settled in after a bit of a slow start in the top of the first and worked five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. In only his second appearance on the mound this season and fourth in the last two seasons, the junior right-hander earned his first win in a Cowboy uniform, improving to 1-0 on the year.
“(Costello) found his rhythm — it'd been a while since he'd pitched, and I think early on he was trying to get his release point down,” Holliday said. “As the game went on, he settled in and threw the ball good… It's good to see him get back on the mound. He's definitely a talented guy and an option for us, a nice weapon to have.”
OSU plated its 10th run of the contest in the third on an RBI double by Kevin Bradley, then added a run in the seventh and two in the eighth, including Caleb Eldridge blasting a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning for his first-career hit.
Green, Arakawa and Rosa each had two hits for the Cowboys, while Green and Arakawa also collected two RBIs apiece. Nine different players recorded hits and RBIs in the contest.
Following Costello on the mound were Tyler Nurdin, who did not allow a hit in three innings of work, and Corey Hassel, who struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to seal the win.
OSU will close out the midweek series with Alcorn State (5-10) Wednesday at 4 p.m.