STILLWATER — The Oklahoma wind came sweeping down the plain Friday, and if there was wheat planted in O’Brate Stadium, it would’ve done more than waving.
The Oklahoma State baseball fell to Texas 5-3 in Game 1 of the teams’ three-game series. It’s a Top 15 matchup with the Cowboys coming in as the No. 13 team in the country hosting No. 15 UT. The Cowboys entered Friday 16-1 at home on the year, but that Oklahoma wind spent the early part of Friday evening playing for Texas.
UT had a runner on second with two outs in the third inning when Jack O’Dowd hit a ball that looked to be about 10 feet foul. Shortstop Marcus Brown ran toward the left-field line to secure the final out of the inning when a gust took the ball back over his head fair. With there being two outs, the runner on second took off at contact and unexpectedly scored.
Then in the fourth, Texas’ Jalin Flores sent a ball to right field. On a normal day, the might’ve hit off the wall or even been caught but with some wind assistance, it made it over the wall, scoring two more runs.
The wind softened seemingly by the inning, but it did give the Cowboys some help in the sixth when Tyler Wulfert narrowly got a ball over the fence in right-center, a solo shot and his fourth of the season.
So the wind probably gave Texas three runs and OSU one.
“Wind is just part of it,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “I’m not sure anyone would’ve enjoyed playing around 1 or 2 when the gusts were at 50, but it was a beautiful night to play. Really became more of a nonfactor, quite honestly. We always play with wind here. Some nights more than others.”
The Cowboys had a chance in the bottom ninth after Carson Benge led the frame with a double before Colin Brueggemann battled through a nine-pitch at-bat to walk. But from there Marcus Brown popped out on a bunt attempt, Chase Adkison struck out and Roc Riggio grounded out.
Wulfert had a chance to be a hero in the seventh. When he got to the dish, OSU had two on with two out, but he popped straight up to the catcher to end the inning.
It was a fairly even game. Texas had 10 hits to OSU’s eight, and both teams left seven on base. It was just a matter of Texas making more of its chances on the night than OSU.
“Their offense finished runs,” Holliday said. “Our offense created opportunities and didn’t finish runs.”
OSU pitcher Ben Abram was 4-0 in starts this season entering the day, but that streak ended on what was his first Friday start of the year. Abram threw five 1/3 innings where he gave up five runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out four. The wind wasn’t his friend, giving up the crazy foul-turned-fair run and the Flores home run in the fourth that just made it over the wall in right.
From there Drew Blake and Isaac Stebens came on and stabilized things. The two combined to pitch three 2/3 innings in which they allowed no runs off one hit while walking two and striking out four.
Juaron Watts-Brown is set to start Saturday’s game.
The Cowboys entered the weekend in a three-way tie for second in the Big 12 at 4-2 — behind 3-0 Texas. Needless to say, it might be early, but it would do the Cowboys wonders to find a way to take at least one game off Texas this weekend to keep the Longhorns close in the Big 12 race.
Schubart Continues On-Base Streak
True freshman Nolan Schubart has now reached base safely in 17 straight games. He was 1-for-3 Friday, doubling in the sixth inning. He also drew a walk. The young Schubart is hitting .398 on the season. Out of Durand, Michigan, Schubart was once committed to play for his home-state Wolverines before a coaching change led him to Stillwater.
Josh Holliday’s Postgame News Conference
OSU vs. Texas at 6 p.m. Saturday
OSU vs. Texas at 1 p.m. Sunday
Read this original article at Pistols Firing Blog.