Oklahoma State got off to a good start in its NCAA Super Regionals opener against visiting UC Irvine, scoring a run in its first at bat and maintaining a 1-0 lead through the first three innings. But things went south quickly for the Cowboys in the middle three innings as UC Irvine exploded for seven runs to open up a six-run lead and held on for an 8-4 win in their Super Regional series in Stillwater, Okla.
Sophomore left-hander Elliot Surrey pitched the first seven innings for the Anteaters, who advanced to the round of 16 and Super Regional action by knocking of the No, 1 overall seed in the this year’s NCAA Championship, Oregon State, in the Corvallis Regional last weekend. Surrey gave up just one run on five hits (and just two hits through the first five innings).
Oklahoma State managed just seven hits in the game, and all seven came from positions two through five in the order. Shortstop Donnie Walton, designated-hitter Zach Fish and first baseman Tanner Kreitemeier each collected two hits. Kreitemeier unloaded a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, his 10th of the season, but by then it was a matter of too little, too late.
Said Cowboys’ coach Josh Holliday afterwards: “I don’t think we played as good of a game as we are capable of. We didn’t play well enough together. In all phases of the game, we could have done some things differently.”
The Big 12 regular-season champions are definitely going to have to do some things differently on Saturday, or their season will be over. Oklahoma State hit .355 as a team and scored 27 runs in its three regional victories last weekend, two of which were over companion Big West school Cal State Fullerton.
“We’ve done this a lot this year, come back after a tough loss,” the Cowboy’s Fish said. “I’m not worried about where we are. I know we’ll be prepared and ready to go (on Saturday).”
UC Irvine was one of the last at-large teams selected for the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.
Other game highlights:
- This is Oklahoma State’s first appearance in an NCAA Super Regional series.
- Oklahoma State’s leading hitter, Gage Green, was hitless in five plate appearances on Friday night.
- Jon Perrin, the losing pitcher for Oklahoma State in Game 1 of its Super Regional series with UC Irvine, pitched a one-two-three first inning, but labored through the next two innings despite holding the Anteaters scoreless. UC Irvine had runners at the corners in the second, and it took a tremendous defensive play by OSU right fielder Conor Costello to end the scoring threat.
- The loos ended a 10-game Oklahoma State winning streak.
- UC Irvine leadoff hitter was a pest all night long for the Cowboys, The Anteater third baseman was four-for-five for the game, with two doubles.