FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Top-seeded Oklahoma State used a five-run sixth inning and hung on for a 6-5 win over Arkansas on Sunday afternoon, ending the Razorbacks’ season in front of 6,369 fans at Baum Stadium.
Hogs’ catcher Brian Walker lined a shot to left field with two outs in the ninth inning and a runner on first base. He pumped his fist as he headed down the first-base line thinking he had just won the game with a walk-off two-run home run.
At the same time Cowboys’ left-fielder Ty Wright raced back and snagged the liner as he crashed into the wall ending the Razorbacks’ season and sending OSU into tonight’s NCAA Fayetteville Regional final at Baum Stadium.
The Cowboys improve to 41-19 on the season and will face Oral Roberts in the championship game. If OSU wins tonight, the two teams will play a deciding game at 7 p.m. Monday at Baum Stadium. The Diamond Hogs end their season at 39-21.
Oliver Odle improved to 5-4 with the win, allowing just four runs – three earned – over 6.1 innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Shortstop Jordy Mercer was the last of three OSU relievers and earned his fifth save of the season, pitching the final 2.1 innings. He allowed one run on two hits and fanned three.
Daryl Maday took the loss to fall to 2-3 on the season. He was cruising along before getting into trouble in the sixth inning. Maday allowed five runs on five hits in 5.2 innings of work. He fanned six and walked one.
Oklahoma State’s used the long ball to take the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Corey Brown led off with a solo shot to right-center field. After two outs, a double and a debated hit by pitch call, Adam Carr launched a three-run home run deep into the Hog Pen in left field.
Maday’s day ended after hitting the next batter on a 0-2 count. Chris Rhoads came on and hit the next Cowboy batter before Matt Clarkson singled up the middle for a 5-3 OSU lead. Devin Collis then replaced Rhoads and got Brown, who led off the inning, to fly out to center field.
When the dust settled the Cowboys had pushed five runs across the plate to take a 5-3 lead.
Arkansas rallied with two-out for its third run of the game. Gentry ripped his second double of the game down the left-field line and Jake Dugger followed with a RBI single to left-center field.
Gentry singled home a run in the seventh inning, but Dugger popped out to shortstop and Ewing lined out to left field to end the inning.
The Cowboys answered right back with a two-out RBI single by catcher Matt Clarkson to give OSU a two-run cushion at 6-4. Josh Smith replaced Collis in the inning and fanned Brown to get out of trouble.
Arkansas continued to battle back with a two-out RBI single by Clint Arnold. Chris Hollensworth was hit by a pitch and pinch ran for by Stephen Robison, who promptly stole second base to get into scoring position for Arnold.
Arkansas took the lead in the bottom of the third inning on a RBI double down the left field line by Craig Gentry. The double scored Logan Forsythe from second base after he singled through the left side to start the inning and was sacrificed over by Matt Willard.
Oklahoma State shortstop Jordy Mercer helped the Hogs plate their second run in the inning when he booted a ground ball of the bat of James Ewing. Gentry raced around from second base to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.