Oklahoma State picked up its second-straight win at the Big 12/Pac-12 Challenge Saturday as the ninth-ranked Cowboys topped Utah, 10-2, at Sloan Park.
Dustin Williams and Jacob Chappell highlighted a big offensive day for the Cowboys, and Michael Freeman picked up his first win of the season on the mound as OSU improved to 3-3 on the season.
“It started on the mound, and offensively there were opportunities up and down the lineup for most of the day,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We scored 10 and probably could have scored 12, 13, 14 runs there had we been a little more precise with execution, but we'll take the 10 and the win.
“I'm proud of the way the kids have responded. We weren't real excited, weren't feeling great after the loss to Oregon State (in Thursday's tourney opener), and we've been able to bounce back with two good games.”
Utah (1-6) took the game's initial lead on a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the second inning by Andre Jackson, who drove in both of the Utes' runs on the day.
However, that lead was short lived as the Cowboys plated a pair of runs in the third.
Williams got the scoring started with a solo home run into the bullpen in right field, his first round tripper of the year. Following Williams' blast, Chappell delivered a triple into right field as Jackson tried to make a diving catch but failed to come up with the ball. Up next, Garrett McCain put the Cowboys up 2-1 with an RBI groundout.
OSU added to its lead in the fifth. Kevin Bradley led off the inning with a walk, and Williams followed with a ground-rule double to the right-center field gap. That brought up Chappell, who smacked a two-RBI single up the middle to give the Pokes a 4-1 advantage.
Bradley, Williams and Chappell each had big days for the Cowboys at the plate as the 7-8-9 hitters in the lineup combined to go 7-for-11 with five RBIs.
“That proved to be a pretty tough bottom of the order right there,” Holliday said. “Kevin got on base several times, Dustin drove some balls and Jacob had his finest day as a Cowboy offensively. The bottom of the order was a little more stout and did a great job.”
The Cowboys added plenty of insurance in the sixth and seventh frames, rallying for four runs in the sixth on RBI hits from Ryan Sluder, Bradley and Gage Green to go up 8-1 before tallying two more runs in seventh compliments of RBI singles from Arakawa and Bradley.
Williams finished 3-for-5 at the plate, while Chappell and Bradley were each 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Jon Littell also had two hits for the Cowboys, who finished with 13 in the contest
Freeman cruised in his second start of the season. The senior southpaw worked five innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out four to move to 1-0 on the year. Blake Battenfield was strong in relief with three scoreless innings and four strikeouts, and Garrett Williams closed out the game in the ninth.
OSU concludes tourney action Sunday at 1 p.m. (CST) when the Cowboys take on Washington in Peoria, Ariz.