Oklahoma State’s baseball team faced an opponent for the first time this weekend as the Cowboys traveled to Iowa City for a three-game series against the Hawkeyes. Although they aren’t ranked, Iowa is 50th in RPI, and it showed as they took two of three games against a hot Cowboys team.
OSU drops to 28-17-1, but because it’s not a Big 12 series, nothing happened to their Big 12 record. In fact, their conference lead slightly grew. Last week, we discussed the scenarios needed for the Cowboys to secure the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Conference Championship. The Cowboys held a three-game lead over Texas last week, but that lead has grown to 3.5. Here’s a look at how the trio of games unfolded this weekend.
Friday – Oklahoma State 7, Iowa 6
The Cowboys won the opener despite a rare poor outing from Carson Teel, who was roughed up for six runs in four innings Friday. A five-run fourth was particularly costly. However, OSU’s bullpen excelled, as they shut out the Hawkeyes for the final five innings of the game. Peyton Battenfield earned the win with three innings of shutout ball, and homers from Colin Simpson and Trevor Boone were among the key plays for the Cowboys, who scored all seven of their runs in the first four innings of the game.
Saturday – Iowa 16, Oklahoma State 14
A total of 30 runs were scored Saturday, and the Cowboys were on the right side of the scoreboard until late in the game. They held a 12-9 lead entering the seventh, but Iowa countered with seven runs in the game’s final two innings to tie the series at 1-1. OSU pitchers hit four Iowa batters and allowed 14 hits and seven walks. Michael Neustifter was a star at the plate with a four-hit, six-RBI performance. No pitcher for either team lasted longer than three innings.
Sunday – Iowa 11, Oklahoma State 3
Sunday’s series finale marked the 10th time this season the Cowboys surrendered at least 10 runs. That’s usually bad news for Josh Holliday’s squad, as OSU is 0-10 when they allow double-digit runs this season. The loss marked the end of a five-series winning streak for the Cowboys, who had half as many errors (three) as hits (six). The Hawkeyes racked up 14 hits for the second consecutive day, and OSU needed five pitchers to get through the game.
Oklahoma State will travel to Waco, Texas, for a three-game series against Baylor. Baylor isn’t a threat to OSU’s contention of the top spot in the Big 12 Baseball Championship, but even a pair of wins for the Cowboys would be huge, and possibly all they need, for the top seed in the conference tournament. That series starts at 6:35 on Friday.