Oklahoma State's run at the Big 12 Baseball Championship fell short of a title Sunday as the top-seeded Cowboys dropped a 7-1 contest to second-seeded TCU in the championship game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The loss snapped the Cowboys' three-game winning streak as the regular season Big 12 champions fell to 45-16.
Shortly after the contest, OSU was named one of 16 hosts for an NCAA Regional later this week in Stillwater, assuring the program of its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 40th overall. The Cowboys will open NCAA tourney play Friday at Reynolds Stadium; the three other teams in the Stillwater Regional will be announced when the NCAA field of 64 is revealed Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
OSU entered Sunday's title tilt set to play its sixth game in five days (with a 4-1 record), while TCU entered unbeaten in just three tourney games.
"I am very proud of our team," said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. "I think what they accomplished in the last five days was significant. The way that we played – we played six games in five days, and it's the most baseball we have played all year. For the most part it was very high end, quality baseball against elite opponents. To walk away from TCU, Texas three times and OU, twice, we walked out of here 4-2. So we saw some outstanding teams and played good baseball, and it has certainly prepared us for what lies ahead, which I'm sure is a challenging tournament next week.
"So, congratulations to TCU, and I guess it's fitting that they won the tournament as we won the regular season as we were neck-and-neck from start to finish."
Seldom-used Michael Freeman got the start on the mound for the Cowboys and performed admirably despite suffering the loss. The junior southpaw, who entered the game with just 9 1/3 innings pitched in nine appearances, worked five innings and allowed six runs, five of them earned, on seven hits. He walked four and struck out four on 111 pitches.
TCU (42-15) plated the game's first run in the bottom of the second when Kevin Cron, who singled to lead off the inning, eventually came around to score on an RBI groundout by Jerrick Suiter.
The Cowboys weren't down long as they tied the score in the third. Tim Arakawa led off the inning with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Craig McConaughy. Up next, Bryan Case struck out but reached safely on a wild pitch, which also allowed Arakawa to take third.
That set the stage for Saulyer Saxon, who laid down a perfect bunt that turned into an RBI single and knotted the score at 1-1.
The fourth inning would turn the game in TCU's favor as the Horned Frogs rallied for four runs on three hits, three walks and a pair of passed balls to take a 5-1 advantage. Dylan Fitzgerald got things started with a bases loaded, two-RBI single and Keaton Jones also added an RBI in the inning.
TCU southpaw Tyler Alexander would hold OSU scoreless over the final six innings as the freshman recorded a complete game and allowed the lone run on just four hits, two of those by Saxon.
Three Cowboys earned spots on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team: Case (catcher), Tanner Krietemeier (first base) and Donnie Walton (shortstop).
Cowboy Baseball Chosen As NCAA Regional Host
Oklahoma State has been selected as a host site for one of 16 Regionals in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Championship, it was announced today by the NCAA.
Allie P. Reynolds Stadium will serve as the host site for this weekend's Stillwater Regional, which is scheduled for May 30-June 2. As a host, OSU is guaranteed of its 40 NCAA Tournament berth, a total that ranks as the fourth highest all time. The NCAA tourney field of 64 will be announced Monday at 11 a.m.
The 2014 Stillwater Regional will mark the 11th OSU has hosted at Reynolds Stadium and the first since 2008. The Cowboys are 33-11 all time in Regional play on their current home field and have won six Regional titles, the last coming in 1993.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the Stillwater Regional can do so online through the OSU Athletics Ticket Office at www.okstate.com/tickets. Tickets available will be all session for $60 each. Single-session tickets, if any are available, will go on sale 90 minutes before each session at Reynolds Stadium. Fans are encouraged to buy early as we expect tickets to go quickly. For the Regional, all seats will be reserved and as a comfort to our fans, seat cushions will be provided on all bleacher seats. Every fan must have a valid ticket to enter the stadium.