In “Lord of the Rings,” when the quest to destroy the one ring of power backed the fellowship into a corner, they relied on the old wizard Gandalf to pull them through.
Oklahoma State was backed into a corner after a loss to UC Santa Barbara Friday in the first round of the Tucson regional. The Cowboys won a win-or-go-home game against Grand Canyon Saturday night in the same way a few hobbits destroyed a ring: relying on the veterans.
“Everyone leans on those guys to come through and they all came through today,” OSU pitcher Parker Scott said. “Max (Hewitt) had great (at bats), Cade (Cabbiness) obviously had a great day so yeah it's huge.”
Fifth-year seniors Hewitt, Carson McCusker and Cabbiness each had two hits and scored three of OSU’s five runs on route to a 5-3 win.
“We just have a bunch of guys who have been in these situations before, so at the end of the day you still got to go out and play ball. We were all just ready to put it all out there today and try to make it happen,” Cabbiness said.
The trio of veteran offensive powerhouses certainly impacted the game, but none more than 5th year junior Parker Scott. Scott threw 6.1 innings and gave up only two earned runs.
“Parker did a heck of a job (on a) very difficult day to pitch,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “I don’t know what the temperatures were, but they were triple digits if I had to guess and man did he put it together. He gave us the start we need to win this game and have a chance in this tournament.”
Scott was replaced on the mound by Kale Davis in the seventh. Davis forced back-to-back groundouts and stranded two GCU baserunners. Closer Brett Standlee was the one who shut the game down in the final inning, not allowing a baserunner even after falling behind 3-0 to the first batter he faced.
The Cowboys still have a long way to go before their quest is complete. They will draw the loser of the other Tucson regional game, Arizona vs UCSB, in another win-or-go-home game Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
“Tomorrow we’re going to catch a really good team coming off a disappointing loss late at night, hopefully we can catch that team before they are able to pick themselves up. If we do that, then all you gotta do is pull off one big win and you put the other team on their heels,” Holliday said.