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Thomas Hatch Was the Star In OSU’s Game 1 Victory Over South Carolina



Oklahoma State is just one win way from a trip to Omaha and the College World Series after knocking off South Carolina 5-1 in the super regional opener. This is a feat that was nearly unimaginable just a few short weeks ago, but OSU is now in prime position.

Thomas Hatch showed us why he was drafted in the third round by the Cubs as he dominated an SEC lineup, scattering four hits over seven innings of shutout ball. Hatch never found himself in any real trouble in this game.

The only time South Carolina got close to scoring on him was in the fourth when it hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Hatch would get a pop-out and a strikeout before a wild play where the ball caromed off Donnie Walton’s glove into the outfield and J.R. Davis picked it up to gun Gene Cone out at the plate trying to score from second. (0:55 in video below)

Hatch admittedly didn’t have his best stuff.

“I really didn’t have my ‘A’ stuff, but my team was able to pick me up behind me,” Hatch told the Tulsa World. “I really think the heat had something to play into it. I was really tired and sweat was rolling down my arm”

This would also explain why Hatch was lifted after seven innings having thrown just 97 pitches when he is fully capable of going 120+. While Hatch wasn’t overpowering he effectively located his pitches on both sides of the plate and induced 10 groundouts thanks to solid defensive play behind him.

“We got excellent starting pitching from Thomas (Hatch), and Trey Cobb came out of the bullpen and did a great job,” said Josh Holliday.

“A lot of college hitters don’t see sinkers all that often,” Holliday added to the Tulsa World. “It’s a different type of pitch. Most kids throw it on a flatter plane. His ball has run and sink. He’s down in the zone and gets a lot of ground balls and our kids really catch ground balls well.”

Hatch has now thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings in the NCAA tournament and OSU has now gotten four straight starts of 6+ innings and one run allowed or less. Look no further than that as a reason why the Cowboys are 4-0 in the tournament.

Hatch pitched with a lead after the Cowboys scored two runs in third on a solo home run from Ryan Sluder that barely cleared the left center field fence and RBI single from J.R. Davis to go up 2-0.

It would be a pitchers’ duel the rest of the way as Hatch and South Carolina starter Braden Webb, an Owasso HS grad, trade zeroes through seven.

OSU would add insurance runs in the ninth when Collin Theroux punished a hanging breaking ball, launching it into the seats for a three-run home run to put OSU up 5-0. Trey Cobb gave up a solo shot to Dom Thompson Williams in the bottom of the inning, but that’s all South Carolina would get.
OSU got two innings from Cobb tonight and he should be able to throw again tomorrow. The Cowboys continue to get long innings from their rotation to make up for the lack of quality arms in the bullpen.

If it can get one starting performance of similar quality on Sunday OSU will be making its first CWS appearance since 1999. Game two is an elimination game for South Carolina brining on all kinds of added pressure, but the Pokes can relax (relatively speaking) knowing they need to win just one of two for a trip to Omaha.

“These kids are having fun and letting it ride, and that’s the only way you can play effectively this time of year – do all the same things you’ve tried to do from day one,” said Holliday. “The kids have to continue to stay engaged and play the game one pitch at a time.”

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