MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OSU

May 26, 2014

Cowboys fall to TCU in Big 12 final

OKLAHOMA CITY – Throwing a pitcher who had yet to make a start this season, and playing its sixth game in five days, proved to be the downfall for Oklahoma State in the championship game of the Big 12 Conference baseball tournament.

The Cowboys, who started junior left-handed pitcher Michael Freeman who had pitched just 9 1/3 innings in relief before Sunday’s game against TCU, possibly lost a chance at a national seed for the postseason along with the conference crown in a 7-1 defeat to the Horned Frogs.

“Our kids fought hard, we just couldn’t get much going against them,” Cowboys coach Josh Holliday said. “But I’m very proud of our team. What they accomplished in the last five days is significant. We played six games in five days, that’s the most baseball we’ve played all year.””

TCU struck first with an unearned run in the second inning – thanks to failed pick-off attempt by Freeman of leadoff batter Kevin Cron, who reached on a single.

The Cowboys didn’t allow TCU to hold onto that lead for long as they evened the contest in the top half of the third.

Tim Arakawa led off with a single through the right side of the infield and eventually scored on a suicide squeeze by Saulyer Saxo.

The Horned Frogs touched up Freeman again in the momentum-swinging fourth. TCU pushed two runs runs across on a bases loaded single by Dylan Fitzgerald and scratched another run on a groundout by Keaton Jones.

“We had to get somebody who could throw five innings for us, we had to,” Holliday said. “The predicament we were in today, Mike was up for the challenge and I’m proud of the effort he gave. Other than that one inning, I thought he competed awfully well.”

Alex Hackerott came in for Freeman in the sixth – after the Cowboy starter allowed another run in fifth – and pitched two scoreless innings in his 26th appearance.

“That was pretty awesome. We always joke around about who is going to be the position player to throw if we needed it,” Saxon said. “It was cool that Corey went out there and got to pitch. I think he used to be really good in high school – at least that’s what he tells us all the time.”

The Cowboys had three players named to the All-Tournament team – catcher Bryan Case, who hit two home runs in the tournament, first baseman Tanner Krietemeier and Donnie Walton, OSU’s sophomore shortstop.

After the game, Oklahoma State was announced as one of the 16 regional sites for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The final field of 64 will be announced at 11 a.m. Monday on ESPNU.

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