Arakawa Leads Cowboys To Another Sweep

For the second weekend in a row the Oklahoma State Cowboys had their brooms ready on Sunday, and they got to use them again. Using the same steady pitching and some always appreciated home run power that is part of the tradition of Allie Reynolds Stadium, the Cowboys defeated Kansas 6-3 in front of an Easter Sunday crowd and Fox Sports 1 national television audience.

The Cowboys sweep last weekend over West Virginia propelled them into second in the Big 12, and this weekend's three-game run through Kansas has the Cowboys one full game ahead of TCU in first place in the Big 12 Conference.

Kansas got an early two-run home run by Tucker Tharp off of Cowboys starter Tyler Nurdin. But the Jayhawks lead was short lived as the hero from Saturday, second baseman Tim Arakawa. found aiming for Duck Street was still a good thing after his game winning two-run laser shot in the eighth inning of Saturday's 5-3 win.

On Saturday, Arakawa hit a two-run homer that never got too far off the ground but was over the fence. This weekend the native of Honolulu, Hawaii, who came to OSU by way of Yavapai Community College in Arizona, was playing against four players from his home state suited up for Kansas.

Arakawa put on a show, and on Sunday put a little more air under it for a three-run homer over the wall in right field and a 3-2 lead for the Cowboys.

"Yes, I've been seeing the ball really well and I got a couple of good pitches to hit, and didn't miss them," Arakawa said. "We just grind out from inning one to inning nine. When those situations come up, where you have to do something special then you hope you are the one that can get it done.

"Gage (Green) did a great job of getting on base today in the second and then (Zach) Fish followed that up with a great piece (hit) down the line. I just wanted to get them home and maybe cut the lead in half and I got a good pitch to hit."

On the weekend and against all of those fellow Hawaiians, Arakawa was 4-for-11 with six runs batted in and three runs scored. He also played excellent defense at second base.

On the mound, Jon Perrin had that picture perfect, complete game shutout over Kansas 6-0 on Friday. Then on Saturday and Sunday the Cowboys pieced together solid 5-3 and 6-3 wins.

Closer Brendan McCurry set another record as Sunday he notched his season record 11th save, topping a trio of former Cowboys who had 10 including his older brother Randy. It was his 19th career save.

Also pitching on Sunday as he does nearly every game providing some solid relief was Vince Wheeland. We'll have more on Monday of the unselfish and valuable team role Wheeland is playing for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys were the only Big 12 team playing Sunday as the rest of the Big 12 action finished for the Easter weekend on Saturday. It provided the Cowboys with a unique opportunity of knowing exactly what the win and the sweep would do for them in the standings.

OSU is now 11-4 in the Big 12 (29-11 overall), with TCU 10-5 in the league after sweeping Texas, and the Longhorns dropped to 9-6 in the Big 12.

"We heard about TCU sweeping Texas and we knew we needed to come out and make a statement," Arakawa added. "It's not make a statement in the standings but it's making a statement that we are a great team and we are not going to let up on day three just because we have clinched the series. Everybody was on board and we came out and did the job."

Now Oklahoma State heads back out on the road with five straight away from Stillwater: at Oral Roberts on Tuesday, next weekend at Texas, and the next Tuesday at Wichita State.

Arakawa seems almost happy to go. "I love going on the road with these guys, road trips with these guys are always fun."

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