After a shaky first game, OSU will live to see another day in the Big 12 tournament.
And the Cowboys have Roman Phansalkar to thank.
On Friday afternoon, No. 4 seed OSU took down No. 1 seed TCU by a score of 8-4 to stay alive in the race for the Big 12 title.
The Cowboys got a punch to the mouth early, trailing 3-0 after two innings of action, leaving four runners on base during that span.
The Horned Frog offense was all over starting pitcher Mitchell Stone, creating contact on nearly every at bat and limiting him to just one strikeout in two innings.
After a four spot in the top of the third from the Cowboys, in came Phansalkar, hoping to contain the well renowned and prolific TCU offense.
After one run off of two TCU doubles in his first half inning of action, Phansalkar displayed complete and utter dominance on the mound. He threw a career high of 81 pitches on the day, striking out five batters en route to the Cowboys’ win.
“My arm felt really good,” Phansalkar said. “The way Rob (Walton, OSU's pitching coach) called the game today was pretty impressive. When we were able to work together, I would land (my pitches) early, and just located the ball really well.”
Phansalkar typically would vary anywhere from 20-30 pitches per outing over the course of the season. Holliday admittingly said the plan wasn’t originally to throw him as long as his coaching staff did. However, in an attempt to preserve arms in preparation of a deeper run in the Big 12 tournament and simply due to the fact that Phansalkar was displaying dominance on the mound already, he kept him out there.
“He’s been extended before,” Holliday said. “He’s been conditioned to go 60 to 70 pitches in game three of a tournament.”
After being shutout by Texas two days ago, and coming off a rocky end to the regular season, Holliday said he is proud for how his Cowboys have responded with possible tournament elimination looming.
“I’m proud of (my) team’s display that one tough day doesn’t shake their belief in each other,” Holliday said. “They responded against Baylor and they responded today (against TCU). So, I’m most proud that they’ve learned to get over a tough day. I’m most proud that they continue to go forward and continue to grow as a team.”