Oklahoma State shortstop Jordy Mercer drove in Luis Flores with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to lift the eighth-ranked Cowboys to a 3-2 win over Texas Tech in front of 1,350 fans at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater.
The loss drops Texas Tech to 21-27 overall and to 6-16 in the Big 12 while Oklahoma State improves to 36-13 overall and to 15-7 in league play.
Texas Tech jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as the Red Raiders got three consecutive hits from Willie Rueda, Joey Kenworthy and Doug Thennis. Rueda led off the inning with a double to left field and then gave Tech the lead when he scored on an RBI single by Joey Kenworthy.
A leadoff double by Oklahoma State's Neil Medchil helped setup an RBI opportunity for Thomas Belza and he came through with a single to right-center. Belza's single tied the game at 1-1.
Texas Tech had a chance to get itself out of a jam in the third as the Red Raiders turned a big double play with runners and first and second and nobody out. OSU designated hitter Dean Green then hit a routine groundball that would have ended the threat but Chris Hall's throw to first was high and Donnie Webb scored easily from third to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead. Webb led off the inning with his second double of the game.
Willie Rueda's third hit of the game in the top of the sixth was huge for the Red Raiders as he led off the inning with a triple to the gap in left-center field. Thennis then brought him home with a sacrifice fly to right field and that knotted the game up at 2-2.
Both teams had several chances throughout to stake a lead in the game and the Cowboys finally came through with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. OSU catcher Luis Flores led off the inning with a single off Tech reliever James Leverton and was then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tyrone Hambly. Shortstop Jordy Mercer then came up with the big clutch hit as he drove home Flores with a two-out single up the middle and gave the Cowboys a 3-2 lead.
Leverton (1-3) was charged with the loss for the Red Raiders as he gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth. OSU reliever Robbie Weinhardt picked up the win for the Cowboys as he pitched a scoreless eighth and then Mercer finished the game to earn his eighth save of the year.
Texas Tech finds itself needing to sweep the next two games of the series to have a legitimate chance to earn on of the final spots in the Big 12 Championship. Game two of the series is set for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
R H E
Texas Tech - 100 001 000 - 2 9 1
Oklahoma St. - 011 000 01s - 3 11 0
WP = Robbie Weinhardt (5-0)
LP = James Leverton (1-3)
SV = Jordy Mercer (8)
- Oklahoma State now leads the all-time series against Texas Tech 25-19 and owns a 14-8 advantage at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The Cowboys have also won seven straight in the series.
- Junior second baseman Willie Rueda matched his career high with four hits that he had done twice before. He fell a home run short of the cycle as he reached on a double, two singles and a triple. He has now hit safely in 16 of Tech's last 17 games.
- Junior right-hander Zach Stewart earned a no-decision on the evening as he logged a career-high seven innings of work allowing just two runs (one earned) on nine hits and struckout four.
- Texas Tech dropped to 0-8 in league openers.