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Garcia’s walk-off single sends Cowboys to Big 12 Tournament championship game

OSU baseball vs. TCU Big 12 semifinals game two-4124.jpg

OSU first baseman Alix Garcia at bat during the Oklahoma State vs. TCU Big 12 Conference Baseball Championship semifinal game two on Sunday, May 26, 2019, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Alix Garcia’s teammates rushed out of the dugout and swarmed him.

It took an extra inning, but he secured the Oklahoma State baseball team’s spot in the Big 12 Tournament championship game.

The Cowboys edged Texas Christian University 7-6 in an elimination game Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Third-seeded OSU will face fourth-seeded West Virginia at 1:15 p.m. Sunday in a showdown for the tournament trophy. Tournament play ended for the sixth-seeded Horned Frogs, who forced the elimination game when they defeated the Cowboys on Saturday.

Garcia, OSU’s junior first baseman, stood at bat in the 10th inning with runners on the corners and two outs. When he knocked an RBI single to left field, Andrew Navigato moved from third base and crossed home.

The Cowboys and Horned Frogs entered the extra inning tied at 5. TCU gained momentum when second baseman Austin Henry crushed a leadoff home run over the center-field wall, giving the Horned Frogs a 6-5 advantage, but relief pitcher Peyton Battenfield and his teammates prevented further damage. A double play and a strikeout kept TCU from adding another run.

In the bottom of the 10th, Navigato, a junior shortstop, knotted the game at 6 with a single that scored Noah Sifrit. Sifrit pinch ran for Christian Funk, who led off with a single and advanced to third on right fielder Andrew Keefer’s throwing error. Although the Horned Frogs outhit OSU 13-11, their errors hindered them. The Horned Frogs committed five, but the Cowboys made none.

Jake Lyons, an OSU right-handed junior, had his second start of the season and pitched through 3 2/3 innings. Lyons gave up four runs, threw four strikeouts and walked two batters. Logan Gragg replaced him, and Brady Basso, who surrendered no runs, followed. Battenfield (4-3), who threw in the ninth and 10th innings, was the winning pitcher.

Cade Cabbiness, a junior right fielder, hit the Cowboys’ lone home run. With two outs in the second, he blasted the ball to left field and scored Carson McCusker.

Through the regular season and Big 12 Tournament play, OSU is 4-2 against TCU.

sports.ed@ocolly.com