OSU trailed 2-0 before exploding for an eight-run rally in the top of the sixth inning. That would be more than enough for starter Scott Richmond (3-3) as he hurled the Cowboys to the final.
"The story of the game is pitching again," stated OSU coach Frank Anderson. "Scott Richmond matched up well with Texas pitcher Randy Boone. Boone did an outstanding job at pitching this afternoon as well. This was like a lot of our other games, stabilizing the game with pitching and then scoring a lot later on and holding on for dear life. It was a team effort."
Richmond allowed two runs on solo homers by Curtis Thigpen in the fourth and David Maroul in the fifth. He scattered seven hits over 8.1 innings with six strikeouts and three walks before being relieved by DeWayne Carver who finished the game off in the ninth.
"I was just trying to throw strikes," said Richmond. "I wanted to give our defense a chance to work with something behind me. I worked with the catcher (Jason Jaramillo) and got in a groove."
Josh Fields sparked the OSU rally in the sixth with a game-tying two-run homer to right, his ninth round-tripper of the year.
"I knew that we needed something to happen," said Fields about his home run.
Jason Jaramillo and Scott Kirby then had back-to-back hits before Rod Allen loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch. Thomas Incaviglia then roped a two-run single up the middle and after Keanon Simon walked, was followed by Chris Gutierrez who had a bloop two-run single of his own to make it 6-2. Rusty Ryal had a RBI single to center and Ty Wright had a RBI sacrifice bunt to close out the Cowboy scoring barrage.
"Obviously, the essence of the game was that eight-run rally in the sixth inning," stated Texas head coach Augie Garrido. "Oklahoma State did a great job sustaining that rally and putting the ball into play."
Incaviglia led the Pokes with three hits, while Scott Kirby and Keanon Simon added two hits each.
Oklahoma State improved to 36-22 on the year, while Texas dropped to 50-13. OSU snapped the Longhorns two-year reign at the tournament, while moving into a conference final for the first time since closing out its dominance of the Big Eight with its 16th consecutive tournament championship in 1996.
The Cowboys will take on Missouri, who went 3-0 on the other side of the tourney bracket, tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. in a single game to decide the championship. The Tigers (37-20-1) finished in seventh place during the regular season but swept the Pokes last weekend in Columbia. The winner gets an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, with pairing scheduled to be announced Monday morning at 11 a.m.
Missouri will be the home team in the final after winning a coin toss after the OSU/UT contest.
Cowboys advanced to the Big 12 finals
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