An opening day thriller couldn’t be scripted better than what Oklahoma State and Wichita State concocted in Game 1 of baseball season.
The Cowboys made plays when necessary, rendering a solid Shockers pitching performance meaningless. Here are some of the numbers that proved the key to OSU’s 3-1 victory.
13: Shockers left on base
OSU only conceded one run, but that’s not due to Wichita State’s success at the plate. The Shockers tallied 11 hits, including a 4-for-4 hitting effort from senior Corrigan Bartlett, getting runners into scoring position with relative ease.
Driving them in proved a different story.
In the eighth inning, OSU brought in pitcher Justin Wrobleski to close. Two consecutive singles to right field later, the Cowboys looked in serious trouble. Wichita State freshman Cade Clemons reached first on a fielding error to load the bases with no outs.
Wrobleski proceeded to strike out two of the next three batters, between making a play to get the force-out at home. OSU coach Josh Holliday said the team gained confidence from the way Wrobleski handled the jam.
“Justin Handled it,” Holliday said. “He handled it like you want to see a guy handle it, and the emotion he had coming off the field. So, he’s going to be a good one for us.”
3-for-4: Alix Garcia hits to attempts
Most of the Cowboys’ business happened within the first inning. OSU senior Max Hewitt started the game with an RBI fielder’s choice, leaving Garcia with two runners to reel in from the plate. On the fourth pitch, Garcia delivered a double to right center field.
“I thought there were some big at bats,” Holliday said. “Obviously, Alix’s double early in the game was a huge swing, and then some of our guys that aren’t quite going yet, they’ll get there. They just need a little more time, a little more batters box rhythm.”
Garcia managed to get on base on two more occasions, but the Cowboys couldn’t string enough hits together to capitalize. No other Cowboy hit more than once.
3: Brett Standlee batters faced and strikeouts
Once the ninth inning started, Holliday put the ball in Brett Standlee’s hands. In total, Standlee threw 14 pitches to three batters.
The result? Three strikeouts, one save and a Cowboy’s victory.