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Oklahoma State Baseball Sweeps Kansas State in Big 12 Opening Series



Oklahoma State opened Big 12 play with a road sweep of Kansas State for its fourth consecutive weekend series victory. The Cowboys now sit at 17-7 on the season and are 15-2 since getting swept by North Carolina at the end of February. OSU is building momentum at the perfect time and will only get better as players start to return from injury.

Thursday — OSU 2 KSU 1

WP: Thomas Hatch (2-0) LP: Levi Mavorhis (3-1) S: Tyler Buffett (2)

After a subpar outing against Michigan last weekend, RHP Thomas Hatch rebounded well, throwing six innings of threehit ball, lowering his ERA to 1.70 (4th in Big 12). Hatch got himself in trouble with walks in the early innings of the game, but seemed to get stronger as it went along.

Garrett Benge had an RBI single in the first and Corey Hassel had one in the fifth, but other than that it was a slow day on offense for the Cowboys. K-State ace Levi Mavorhis held OSU to only five hits in the game.

Remey Reed allowed a towering home run to Shanwee-native Josh Rolette to make it 2-1 in the eighth. In a high-leverage situation, Buffett came on and struck out two in the ninth to shut down the game for the Cowboys.

Friday — OSU 5 KSU 4

WP: Garrett Williams (1-0) LP: Parker Rigler (2-4) S: Tyler Buffett

Ryan Sluder returned from an injury on Thursday, but his impact wasn’t felt until the third inning of Friday’s game when he launched a home run to left field to give OSU a 2-1 lead. Jon Littell added another run in the fourth with a solo shot to the deepest part of Tointon Family Stadium.

RHP Trey Cobb started for the Cowboys and didn’t give up a run until the fourth when Collin Theroux let a ball get by with a runner on third. Cobb struggled with command (four walks) and was lifted in the fifth inning after only 79 pitches. This was presumably because he threw 113 pitches in his stellar outing last weekend against Michigan, and he isn’t 100 percent adapted to the rotation since his move from the bullpen.

LHP Garrett Williams made his season debut and only gave up a hit and an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings of work. RBI singles from Littell in the sixth and Donnie Walton in the seventh made it 5-2 Cowboys.

Buffett came in to pitch the eighth and allowed two inherited runners to score making it 5-4 heading into the final frame. Buffett would allow the lead off hitter to reach third, but the game would end on a close pitcher-cover play at first base that went the of OSU.

Saturday — OSU 5 KSU 4

WP: Tyler Buffet (4-1) LP: Lucas Benenati (0-1)

Freshman RHP Jensen Elliott continues to impress, scattering six hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings. Elliott showed the best breaking ball I’ve seen from him in this outing and he wasn’t afraid to throw it in any count.

The Cowboys bats started off hot with an RBI-double from Donnie Walton in the first followed by one from J.R. Davis in second. Davis would later score on a dropped fly ball to make it 3-1 OSU.

K-State would add a run in the fifth and that was the only scoring until Benge hit a solo home run in the eighth making the score 4-2. The bullpen would make things interesting again, with Blake Battenfield and Buffett each allowed a run in the eighth that was credited to Reed.

Sluder would score the game-winning run in top of the 10th on a J.R. Davis sacrifice fly to give the Cowboys the sweep.

What we learned

• Sluder and Williams are healthy. Both of these guys made immediate impacts in their returns this weekend. Sluder has potential to be a spark plug in this lineup that could really use a boost heading into the meat of the season. While Williams will factor into an already strong bullpen and will see some midweek starts.

• Buffett has a flare for the dramatic, apparently. The Cowboys’ new closer had two saves (almost three) and a win in the series, closing each game. Buffett has been a workhorse already this season with 14 appearances already, but with Williams back his innings will now be shared. While he has knack for raising heart rates, Buffett’s 1.77 ERA is good for second in the Big 12 among qualifiers.

• A road sweep is not easy. KSU isn’t the strongest team this year, but it was important that the Cowboys came out this weekend with confidence. This week will be challenging with a midweek matchup against Arkansas and a weekend trip to Lubbock to face the nationally-ranked Red Raiders.

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