ARLINGTON, Texas – Oklahoma State picked up its first two wins of the season Saturday at the Clay Gould Classic as the No. 7 Cowboys knocked off Stephen F. Austin, 8-2, before topping tourney-host UT Arlington by a 5-3 margin.
With the wins, OSU improved to 2-1 on the young season. The Cowboys will conclude their season-opening weekend Sunday against Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m.
Donnie Walton swung a hot bat Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a double in each game, while Jon Littell also had four hits on the day. Conor Costello paced the Cowboys with four RBIs as OSU’s DH drove in two runs in both contests.
On the mound, OSU got strong efforts from both starting pitchers as Thomas Hatch made his first appearance since 2014 and tossed seven innings against SFA, and Jensen Elliott picked up a win over UTA with five shutout frames in his collegiate debut.
Against SFA (1-1), the Cowboys took a 2-0 lead after five innings following Garrett Benge’s RBI single in the second and Costello’s RBI double in the fifth.
The Lumberjacks would tie the game with two runs in the sixth, however, as they collected two of their five hits off Hatch in the inning.
But OSU mounted a big rally in the eighth to take the lead and put the game away. The Cowboys collected five hits in the pivotal inning, with Littell picking up two RBIs on a single and Jacob Chappell, Walton and Costello also driving in runs.
Remey Reed worked the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up the win as the right-hander did not yield a hit or a run.
"I thought it was a good response from our kids after losing the season opener on the road because that is never a good feeling," head coach Josh Holliday said after both games were in the book. "We turn the page on that quick this morning. We got a good starting pitching performance from Thomas Hatch. Our bullpen did a good job and then we were able to post a big number in the eighth and get some distance."
In the second game of the day, the Cowboys jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the second when Dustin Williams blasted the first pitch he saw from UTA’s Jake Wilcox over the wall in right field for a two-run home run.
In the third inning, an RBI groundout by Littell plated OSU’s third run, and Costello picked up another RBI in the sixth to make it 4-0.
"Big hit by Dustin Williams and good situational hitting by Costello and others," Holliday added. "I thought Donnie (Walton) was great all day. He swung the bat well and made at least 10 good plays on a day where it was choppy and not easy to field the baseball."
Fueled by the offensive support, Elliott baffled the UTA lineup. The righty tossed five scoreless innings and allowed just four hits – all singles – while striking out five and not issuing a walk.
The Mavericks (1-2) would make things interesting against the OSU bullpen as they cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs off Max Simpson to make the score 4-2.
In the eighth, OSU pushed its lead back to three. Following a single by Littell, Walton doubled down the right field line, and up next, Costello continued to produce with a sacrifice fly to score Littell.
UTA tried to mount another rally in the ninth against Cowboy reliever Michael Mertz. But following an RBI double by Caleb Koedyker that made the score 5-3 and brought the tying run to the plate, Mertz retired the next two Mavericks to end the game and earn his first-career save.