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OSU Baseball: Schubart Walks it Off as Cowboys Secure Series Win against Texas

A freshman walks off the series.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]


STILLWATER — With the game on the line, the Cowboys had a freshman at the dish. But Nolan Schubart is no normal freshman.

With two runners in scoring position and the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Schubart called time in the middle of his at-bat to regroup. It was a veteran move from a guy who should be as veteran as he is. Then he stepped back in the box and delivered a walk-off hit down the right-field line to give the Cowboys a 4-3 win over Texas — a win that also clinched the Big 12 series.

“I knew,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday of what he expected from the young Schubart in that scenario. “Can’t say I know all the time, but I knew there. I knew he would be under control. I knew he would be present. I knew he’d be in the moment. I knew they’d have to make a perfect pitch, and when they didn’t quite get the perfect pitch thrown, I knew he’d come through.

“Some kids have an ability just to have a good feel for what they’re doing and an ability to stay within themselves. He does that. He stays within himself.”

From Durand, Michigan, Schubart was initially committed to his home state Wolverines before a coaching change saw him reconsider. He said part of what made him consider Oklahoma State was his relationship with Jackson Holliday — Josh’s nephew (and Matt Holliday’s son), who was committed to play for OSU before being taken first overall in last year’s MLB Draft.

Although the Cowboys didn’t get Jackson, they did get Schubart who as a freshman bats cleanup and is hitting a team-best .400 and 32 RBIs. He has successfully reached base in his past 19 games, but none were as notable as him momentarily touching first before being swarmed by his teammates.

“After I touched first, it kind of almost like a blackout sensation to be honest,” said Schubart of the celebration. “I think the adrenaline and everything kind of took over. I mean, I just remember getting the first splash of water and pretty much trying to stay up. I didn’t really want to get trampled.”

The setup to Schubart’s walk-off saw Brennan Holt start the rally with a one-out, pinch-hit single. Roc Riggio and David Mendham each drew walks to load the bases for Schubart before a wild pitch saw Holt cross the plate and tie things at 3.

The Cowboys finished Sunday’s game with twice as many hits as the Longhorns, but it wasn’t until that final hit of the day where the Cowboys took their first lead. With base runners all day, the Pokes just weren’t able to capitalize until that ninth inning. OSU outhit Texas 10-5. The Cowboys left eight runners on base.

The Cowboys’ runs outside of the ninth inning came off Chase Adkison’s two-run home run in the sixth. It was his third home run of the season.

So how did OSU muscle out a win despite being inconsistent on offense on the day? Well, the mound.

Texas started hot, scoring all three of its runs in the first inning with a Garret Guillemette three-run home run. It was his second home run of the series. After that, OSU starting pitcher Brian Hendry was solid, finishing his four-inning outing having given up the three runs off four hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Behind him, Drew Blake and Isaac Stebens — both from Stillwater High — were superb. Blake allowed just one hit in his four innings of work while walking one and striking out five.

Stebens found himself in a precarious position in the ninth with the bases loaded and no outs before he struck a batter out and forced a double play.

“I thought our pitching was the story,” Holliday said. “Our defense behind it was important, and then our toughness and resiliency to stay with it, even though at times during the first eight innings we had opportunities and got a little bit sped up, it was huge.”

The win was big in a lot of ways, most notably, it gives OSU a head-to-head win against Texas should the Big 12 standings come down to that at the end of the season. OSU is 6-3 in Big 12 play and pushed Texas back to 4-2. The Big 12 standings are tight early in the season with OSU, TCU and Kansas State all entering Sunday at 5-3 behind Texas at 4-1.

Josh Holliday’s Postgame News Conference

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