MattBob's Baseball Report-Pepperdine

The weekend ended a little early for the 16th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-4). Rain on Sunday prevented the rubber game of a three-game series with No. 10 Pepperdine from being played at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater. The series ends with a split between the two top 20 teams.

Oklahoma State 's win came Friday night in an extra inning thriller which saw the Pokes comeback and win 7-6 in the 10th inning, despite being down 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth. The game's final play came down to a Rebel Ridling RBI single that scored Matt Mangini from second. Mangini was dead to rights on the throw, but escaped the tag by going around the catcher who was up the line, which forced Mangini to have to dive at an angle to tag home and score the winning run.

On Friday, Pepperdine's ace and All-American Bobby Enright frustrated batters before running out of gas. In seven innings of work the right-handed phenom struck out eight batters. However, OSU had success against the vaulted Pepperdine bullpen, including outstanding Pepperdine closer, Dominguez.

The Waves starter on Saturday was Brett Hunter, a pre-season All-American who proved to be more than the Cowboys could handle. Hunter allowed just four hits in seven innings. The bullpen finished what Hunter started on Saturday as Pepperdine cruise to a 7-3 victory.

Oklahoma State got little help from its starting pitchers as Matt Gardener and Oliver Odle combined for just 5.1 innings of work and allowed a combined 10 runs. The bullpen performed admirably given the situation the Cowboys' starters gave them to work with.

Robbie Weinhardt pitched a clutch five innings Friday,. Entering the game, Robbie had pitched a combined five innings in three appearances. He gave up just four hits in his work, and did not allow a run.

Martin Beno threw six innings of relief work allowing two earned runs on just five hits on Saturday. Beno has a 1.98 ERA in six appearances, and is quickly becoming a "go to guy" in the bullpen.

The most valuable player for the series was shortstop Matt Lopez, who led the defense with his glove, and contributed at the plate. Lopez, was originally tabbed as a replacement for injured Jordy Mercer, in a role, Frank Anderson has termed "our Trent Dilfer," hoping the youngster would play just well enough to not lose the game.

His bat and glove have both been pleasant surprises. Hitting in the nine hole, Lopez has become a second lead-off hitter, getting on base 45 percent of the time while batting .354 (good enough for fourth best on the team) and drawing 10 walks.

As a shortstop, Lopez has been tabbed with three errors, but he has made plays with his gloves that have changed games, including a play Friday that can easily be called a "web gem." The play of Lopez has made the absence of Mercer almost unnoticeable, and at the very least will provide valuable depth down the stretch with the return of Jordy.

The Cowboys return to action Tuesday and Wednesday with a two-game set with the Leathernecks of Western Illinois. The Leathernecks are 0-8 versus the Big12 this season, losing to OU, Texas Tech and Kansas.

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