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Texas Knocks OSU Out of Big 12 Tourney For Second Straight Year



Stop me if you’ve heard this before, “OSU can’t get out its own way; Loses postseason game.”

Oh, that’s right it happened on Thursday too.

The Cowboys were eliminated from the Big 12 tournament after blowing a five-run lead in the eighth inning to lose Friday’s game rematch with the Longhorns 12-8. The OSU bullpen surrendered nine runs in the eighth inning for the second consecutive game. These blowup innings have happened all too often and really make you question the toughness of this team.

RHP Jensen Elliott got the nod for OSU and went 4 1/3 and gave up three runs to the Longhorns. Elliott did not have his best stuff in this outing, giving up seven hits and exiting in the fifth inning. This was Elliott’s first career postseason start, but the Cowboys will need a better performance from him in the regionals.

The Cowboys trailed 3-1 entering the sixth, but things would get interesting from there. Back-to-back singles from Donnie Walton and Garrett Benge would end Johnston’s night. Conor Costello would add his seventh RBI of the tournament followed by an RBI-single from Dustin Williams to knot the score at 3.

With Williams on first and Costello on third, Williams would break for second and Costello would get caught in a rundown heading for the plate. Costello would avoid the tag from UT catcher Tres Barrera to score the go-ahead run. A simple look at replay would tell you Costello was out, but remember there is no replay review in college baseball.

OSU would open the floodgates from there, scoring four more runs in the inning to take an 8-3 lead. Collin Theroux and J.R. Davis would plate runs with nearly identical doubles down the left field line and Corey Hassel would add an RBI-single as well.

Overshadowed in the loss is Remey Reed’s performance. Reed did an excellent job of bridging the gap between Elliott and the back end of the bullpen, going 1 2/3 hitless innings.

With an 8-3 lead Josh Holliday made the questionable decision to bring in Tyler Buffett who was tagged for six runs in the Cowboys’ game two meltdown against TCU. Unsurprisingly, Buffett blew up again. An error from J.R. Davis on a potential double play didn’t help matters, but Buffett looked very hittable.

I was critical of Buffett in my article yesterday, and I think this proves my point that he doesn’t have the shutdown quality that is essential for a closer. Allowing 10 runs in two games is unacceptable. I’d rather see Trey Cobb closing out games again.

Michael Mertz would follow and would give up the go-ahead runs after Buffett exited the game. Mertz was thrusted into a tough situation that he wasn’t ready to handle and that goes back to Buffett not being able to get the job done.

This loss will not put the Cowboys’ spot in jeopardy, but this is not the kind of momentum a team wants heading into the regionals. Whether it’s a No. 2 or No. 3 seed Holliday and Co. will need to figure out whatever is causing these problems or else the Cowboys will bow out of the regionals after two games.

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