Four hitters is all it took.
Oklahoma State first baseman Jake Thompson approached the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the first. Christian Encarnacion-Strand at first, Max Hewitt at second and Caeden Trenkle at third took leads as Thompson made contact with a pitch from Tony Horn Jr.
Thompson flew out to right-centerfield, but Trenkle scored. This started the onslaught awaiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Stillwater Tuesday.
OSU defeated UAPB 28-0 in a game that was decided four batters into the game. It was OSU’s second run-rule victory of the season.
“We continued to score throughout the game,” coach Josh Holliday said. “I think probably the only thing we didn’t do well was play defense, but as the game progressed, that improved. Other than that we took care of business.”
Despite not allowing a run the Cowboys had five errors in the game. Encarnacion-Strand and Matt Golda each had two, and Alix Garcia had one. Holliday said there’s different reasons for the errors, but only one way to fix them.
“Work hard,” Holliday said. “Work hard at it and get back to your fundamentals. Defense is a fundamentally driven side of the ball. Just get back to the fundamentals, that’s all there is to it.”
Hewitt broke the game open with five RBIs in the second inning, including a three-RBI triple.
The Cowboys had 15 hits in the game, but most of the runs were set up by walks. The Cowboys drew 18 walks in the game, Cade Cabbiness drew three alone. The 18 walks were also paired with a catcher interference in the first and third hit by pitches.
“Part of being a good baseball player is taking what you are given, I think we did a good job staying locked in, and playing each pitch the right way,” Hewitt said. “That’s something we’ve been preaching on all year, and something we want to continue going down the road.”
OSU pitching was overshadowed by the offensive slaughter, but C.J. Varela and Roman Phansalkar combined to shut out the Golden Lions. Varela started for the first time this season, and he made it count. He struck out five batters and gave up two hits.
Varella pitched five innings despite having to wait long times between innings as the Cowboys offense piled on runs on a cold April night, but that didn’t hamper him.
“(He was) great, he handled the cold and the long breaks very well,” Holliday said.