Cowboys Pitching Tank Too Close To Empty

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma State head baseball coach Josh Holliday said late Saturday night after the Cowboys used eight different pitchers in a gritty performance to beat Texas twice to earn a spot in Sunday's Big 12 Tournament championship game that he would not be a "fool" and risk any players that he would need in regional play, which it turns out will be in Stillwater.

Holliday was no fool but the Cowboys were limited with what they could do on the bump, and TCU still had regular weekend starter Tyler Alexander. His complete game coupled with some rusty and less than complete pitching by Oklahoma State led to TCU winning 7-1 on Sunday to take the Big 12 Tournament Championship while the Cowboys were the regular season champs.

The Horned Frogs drew first blood in the bottom of the second as first baseman Kevin Cron led off with a single to left field. He advanced when Cowboys starting pitcher Michael Freeman, overly concerned with Cron's lead off at first despite not being a threat to go, threw over, a lob throw by OSU first baseman Tanner Krietemeier. He moved to third on a deep line drive out to right off the bat of Mustang, Okla., native Garrett Crain. Cron scored on a groundout by DH Jerrick Suiter.

Freeman, best known for proposing to his fiancé on the field after closing a game early in the season, had just 9.1 innings pitched this season entering Sunday.

The Cowboys answered in the top of the third when Tim Arakawa singled to right field sharply. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Craig McConaughy, to third on a wild pitch on a third strike to catcher Bryan Case. Arakawa moved home on a perfectly placed bunt by Saulyer Saxon that went down as a bunt single and RBI for the senior center fielder.

TCU blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth. It started with a diving grab to his left by Cowboys third baseman Craig McConaughy who threw out Boomer White. That would be the last out for the next four TCU batters.

Freeman's inexperience showed as he walked three straight hitters, momentarily losing command of his pitches. Then with the bases loaded the Horned Frogs Dylan Fitzgerald made the Pokes pay with a single to centerfield scoring Cron and Crain. After Suiter scored on a ground out, Fitzgerald scored on a passed ball, the second of the inning by Cowboys catcher Bryan Case.

The Frogs added a sixth run in the fifth when Jerrick Suiter singled to right scoring Crain, who had walked. Freeman, who started with the chance to be a hero, actually pitched okay except for those four walks. Those were the only four hitters that Freeman walked but they all came into score. Freeman left in the sixth, pitching five innings and allowing six runs on six hits with three strikeouts and those four walks.

By the bottom of the eighth the Cowboys had outfielder and Stillwater native Corey Hassel pitching as Holliday and pitching coach Rob Walton were not wanting to burn any more pitching. They really didn't have any left. TCU added a run off Hassel on a sacrifice fly to go up 7-1.

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