Stillwater, Oklahoma. – The top 10 bills live up to the hype. In a down-to-the-wire competition, Texas Tech No. 9 outlasted third-placed Oklahoma State, 7-6, Friday night at O’Pray Stadium to begin the crucial Big 12 streak between two teams vying for the conference crown.
In a game that has had its share of wild play between two teams who have not quit, the final was scored by playing a pickle between the home board and third base while holding onto one lead (Watch). With the sprinters on the corners catcher Hudson White made a clean 2-1 into the dirt from Andrew Devine, trying to take advantage of the wild pitch, the fourth-placed Cowboys raced home only to be caught by White as he moved toward him and the ball in his hand. White ran at the third base line toward the runner and threw third baseman Parker Kelly as the runner began to fall back to third base before another throw by first baseman Cole Stilwell, who jumped into the play, marking the game-ending.
It was poetic for Stilwell to close the match defensively as he played the all-night champ from the batting box. The young man is connected to get the Grand Slam without a doubt (Watch) in the fourth inning to give Tech a 5-2 lead, and they’re never behind again. Stilwell made it to base every time he went to the plate on Friday, going 2-for-2 with three walks.
Chasing Oklahoma State in the standings, win keeps Tech (33-16, 12-7) in search of the 12 Big 12 regular season title with only five games remaining in the season. The Cowboys (34-15, 13-6) are down one game over the Red Raiders and Oklahoma (12-7), while the TCU is still in the first half of their rematch at 14-8 in the league standings as they close in. Conference play this weekend. Tech ends the season at home versus Oklahoma, May 19-21.
Oklahoma State dropped to 18-4 this season when it scored in the first half as the home team jumped over Tech 2-0 in the opening frame. Rookie Andrew Morris issued a picnic, and one of the hitters later allowed a shot at the lead line that left the park.
Kurt Wilson sparked a Texas Tech attack in the fourth when he knocked out the frame with his best team in the trio this season (Watch). Owen Washburn followed the knockout double (Watch) who sent Wilson home to cut the difference in half, 2-1. The third hit in the first half was the big hit, Stilwell’s Grand Slam that put five points on the scoreboard for the Red Raiders. Kelly drew a walk and hit Easton Morrell for the 22nd time this season, with the two joining Washburn and Stillwell in celebration after the blast.
In the next half, both teams scored once to become a 6-3 match after five full runs. White was connected to one of two warning distance hits in the game, one scored in fifth and third place Wilson, whose three-run home run was recorded as a sack fly (Watch). Washburn was on second base as he called his second double in as many turns.
On the sixth, the top three hitters in Oklahoma made it to the base to load the base using a pair of singles and hit after hit. The sequence ended Morris’ start, and Tech went to Derek Bridges for the Bullpen. The sophomore made it out of the jam, allowing only one to score, which was helped by an incredible defensive play by Kelly who ran off the board pressing safety and shot him first in time (Watch) to eliminate a potential running race home from third place.
The Cowboys scored a seventh, trimming the Reds’ lead to 6-5. On day eight, Tech added a talented lockout round on a wild ground that allows Dillon Carter to race home from third base (Watch) and give Tech a lead in two rounds again, 7-5.
There was a need that Oklahoma State wouldn’t go down without a fight, as it scored once in the ninth before recording the final.
The series opposite Oklahoma State continues Saturday at its climax again, at 6 p.m. The final is on Sunday at 1 pm