STILLWATER – Oklahoma State dropped into the elimination side of the NCAA Stillwater Regional bracket with a 20-12 loss to Arkansas Saturday night at O’Brate Stadium.
The No. 7 national seed Cowboys fell to 40-21 with the loss and will face Missouri State in a Regional elimination game Sunday at noon. Arkansas (40-18) will await the winner of that game in the Regional final Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Pokes tallied 13 hits in Saturday’s contest, with Roc Riggio’s 4-for-5, five-RBI day leading the way, but left 14 runners stranded on base.
Roman Phansalkar took the loss in relief as he fell to 6-3 after allowing three runs on one hit in 1/3 of an inning. The Cowboys used seven pitchers in the contest and allowed seven home runs.
Arkansas took the game’s initial lead in on a homer by Brady Slavens in the first, a solo shot to right-center field.
The Cowboys would not be down long, however. Riggio walked to lead off the bottom of the first, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. On a bunt single by Zach Ehrhard, a throwing error by the third baseman allowed Riggio to come home to tie the score at 1-1.
UA got another long ball in the second, this one from Robert Moore, to take a 2-1 advantage.
Once again, OSU answered. After a leadoff walk to Chase Adkison and a sacrifice bunt, Riggio delivered a ground-rule double to center field to knot things at 2-2.
The Cowboys would take a lead in the third, rallying for five runs on three hits, including a pair of homers.
Nolan McLean got the scoring started with a solo bomb to left-center field, his 17thround tripper of the season, to give OSU its first lead of the day. Following a one-out walk to Adkison and a double by Caeden Trenkle, Riggio smashed a three-run homer to right field to put the Pokes up 7-2.
After their third solo homer of the game in the fourth, the Hogs cut into the lead again in the fifth as a two-out, two-RBI single with the bases loaded made the score 7-5.
OSU extended its lead in the sixth. Griffin Doersching led off the inning with double just inside the left-field line, and three batters later, an RBI groundout by Marcus Brown plated a run. Up next, Adkison brought home a run with a single as the Cowboys went up 9-5, and Riggio followed with an RBI hit of his own to give the home team a five-run advantage.
UA battled back via the long ball in the seventh, getting a solo shot from Michael Turner and a two-run blast from Moore, both coming with two outs, to trim the OSU lead to 10-8.
The eighth inning proved pivotal. After a leadoff single by UA’s Peyton Stovall, the next two batters were hit by pitches to load the bases and drive Phansalkar from the game.
McLean then took the mound and struck out the first batter he faced. But back-to-back walks tied the score and a hit by pitch gave the Hogs the lead. Another walk extended that lead to 12-10 before Trevor Martin came on and surrendered a grand slam on his first pitch to Jalen Battles.
Trailing 16-10, pinch hitter Brett Brown picked up a pair of RBIs in the bottom of the eighth to provide OSU’s final runs.