No. 16 Baseball tops Oklahoma State, 10-5, in series opener
AUSTIN, Texas -- Junior Kyle McCulloch struck out a career-high 12 over a season-best eight innings and the UT offense scored 10 runs on a season-high 16 hits as No. 16 Texas earned a 10-5 victory over Oklahoma State in front of 4,989 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Friday, March 24.
The Longhorns' (17-10, 2-1 Big 12) win over the Cowboys (15-5, 0-1 Big 12) not only snapped OSU's six-game win streak, but also gave UT eight wins in its last 10 contests.
A hit batter and a fielding error with one out in the top of the first led to an early 2-0 lead for Oklahoma State as Tyler Mach came up with a double down the left-field line to bring in both runners. While Texas would try to answer in both the first and second frames by placing at least one runner on in each inning, Oklahoma State starter Oliver Odle induced a pair of double plays to keep the two-run advantage in tact. The game was then halted in the top of the third with two outs as a light bank issue arose to delay the contest for 10 minutes.
After play resumed, McCulloch (Houston, Texas) retired his fourth straight hitter to move the game to the bottom of the third. Following two scoreless half innings, the Longhorns received back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the fourth before a sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out. A Bradley Suttle (Boerne, Texas) sacrifice fly then cut the lead in half prior to Kyle Russell (Tomball, Texas) connecting on a two-run home run to give the Longhorns a 3-2 lead. Still alive in the frame, Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) followed the round-tripper with a triple off the left field wall and scored on a two-out double from Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) to make it a 4-2 game. The Cowboys would look to answer immediately in the top of the fifth with two runners on and two outs, but McCulloch tied a career-high with his ninth strikeout to end the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kainer brought home Jordan Danks (Round Rock, Texas), who tripled, with a one-out single to make it 5-2 in favor of the Horns. Two innings later in the bottom of the seventh, Texas used a leadoff walk to Stubbs, a two-base wild pitch and a sac fly from Kainer to plate another score. A triple from Suttle was then followed by a RBI-double off the bat of Russell and a run-scoring base hit from Chais Fuller (Fairfield, Calif.) with two down to give UT three runs in the seventh and an 8-3 advantage. While the Cowboys plated an unearned score in the top of the eighth, the Longhorns answered right back in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own to make it a 10-3 ballgame. Failing to go without a fight, OSU used a leadoff walk and three consecutive two-out hits in its final at bat to score twice and make the score 10-5. Despite the late rally, UT reliever Austin Wood (Kingwood, Texas) retired the seventh batter of the inning on a foul fly to right to cap the five-run victory. Earning his second win of the year was McCulloch, who allowed only one earned run on five hits and walked none over his eight-inning effort, while Odle incurred the loss for OSU.
Headlining the Texas offense on the evening, which tied a season-best for hits with 16, were four players with multiple-hit outings. Included in that group were Suttle, who went a career-best 4-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI, Danks, who scored three times and collected three hits, and Russell, who equaled a career-high with four RBI during a 2-for-5 night that included two runs scored and a two-run home run. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, had its eight-hit attack led by Jordy Mercer, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI, and the tandem of Corey Brown and Ty Wright, who posted a pair of hits. Of additional note for UT, Wheeless extended his current hit streak to six games while McCulloch has now not issued a walk in his last 15.2 consecutive innings.
These two teams continue their three-game set at Disch-Falk Field on Saturday, March 25 at 1 p.m. Central. To purchase tickets, call by phone (1-800-982-BEVO) or go to TexasBoxOffice.com. Please note the time change for Saturday's game to 1 p.m. Central in order not to conflict with the UT men's basketball game.