June 6, 2014
UCI Takes Advantage of OSU Miscues
By Tim Ahrens
– Coming from behind to win games after giving up too many extra
opportunities is something that rarely happens, and Friday
night’s game at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium was no different for
The Cowboys committed two errors,
as many as UC Irvine did. But a number of mistakes made by OSU’s
pitching staff put the team in a deep hole that it could never
overcome as the Anteaters (39-23) took the first game of the
Stillwater Super Regional in an 8-4 victory.
“They won in the middle innings,”
OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “I think some moments got away
from us there, that collectively as a team we’re better than. We
just have to be a little bit more under control. I don’t think
we necessarily saw anything that was new to us; we just didn’t
handle the moment as well as we can.”
The host Cowboys (48-17), one of
just seven top seeds to win their regional groups, took the
early lead in the bottom of the first inning. After shortstop
Donnie Walton reached on a throwing error by UCI first baseman
Taylor Sparks, Zach Fish doubled to the left field wall to put
two runners in scoring position. On the next pitch, Tanner
Krietemeier hit an RBI groundout to second that scored Walton
and gave OSU the early 1-0 lead.
Walton, Fish and Krietemeier all
recorded two hits and combined for essentially all of the
Cowboys’ offense. Walton finished 2 for 5 with two runs, Fish
went 2 for 5 with one run, and Krietemeier was responsible for
driving in all of OSU’s runs as he went 2 for 4 with one run and
After that first inning, UCI
starter Elliot Surrey (8-4, 1.99 ERA) settled down to go six
more. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out five
and allowing two unearned runs.
“They had good pitchers working
all night," Fish said. “We were just a little bit off balance,
and they were able to locate. The way that first kid (Surrey)
threw tonight, he mixed his slider, his curveball, his changeup,
his fastball, went in, went out.”
Where Surrey was in control,
junior Jon Perrin (8-5, 2.38 ERA) was far from it. OSU’s ace
looked solid through three innings, allowing one hit but
committing a balk. The closest the Anteaters got to scoring was
having runners on the corners with two outs in the second, but
Conor Costello made a diving catch to rob Adam Alcantara of an
The Cowboys weren’t able to hold
off the Anteaters for long, though. In the fourth inning, Perrin
hit right fielder Kris Paulino to put runners on first and
second. He then threw a wild pitch that got past catcher Bryan
Case and advanced the runners to second and third. One batter
later, Alcantara hit a two-RBI single that gave UCI its first
lead of the night.
The trouble wasn’t over for
Perrin yet. In the fifth, he gave up a leadoff double to Sparks
(4 for 5, 2 R) before committing a fielding error on an intended
sacrifice bunt that puts runners on the corners with no outs.
Connor Spencer (2 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI) singled to score Sparks,
and he and Chris Rabago advanced to second and third after a
Perrin then threw two wild
pitches that scored Rabago and Spencer, blowing the game wide
open and leaving it out of reach for OSU. The Cowboys pitching
staff allowed three more runs on a bases-loaded sacrifice bunt,
a bases-loaded walk and a double delayed steal.
The Cowboys tried to come alive
with a rally in the eighth inning. Following a three-run home
run by Krietemeier, OSU had the bases loaded with one out and
Case at bat. Case had been heating up in the postseason, but he
instead hit into a 5-4-3 double play that ended OSU’s hopes of a
29th comeback win this season.
Mike Gillespie was happy to get the win but found it far from a
good win. And because of that, he’s not worried about his
players taking Friday’s win for granted and getting ahead of
themselves before Saturday’s game that could potentially clinch
a College World Series bid for the Anteaters.
“It was exactly the same with us
in the eighth inning, we had our own problems,” Gillespie said.
“It was a flawed game. And I think our players understand it’s
nothing-nothing now. I don’t think there’s one person stupid
enough to think this deal’s close to over.
“I think Oklahoma State is way
too good and our players have way too much respect to
bring ace pitcher Andrew Morales, who was drafted by the St.
Louis Cardinals in the Supplemental B Round of the 2014 MLB
Draft, to the mound Saturday night at 9 p.m. CT against the
Cowboys. OSU will counter with freshman Tyler Buffett as it
hopes to force a third game in the Super Regional.
Tanner Krietemeier raised his RBI total to 52 with his 4-RBI
performance on Friday. He now leads OSU in the category
The Cowboys pitching staff combined to commit a balk, throw
three wild pitches, hit two batters and commit one fielding
error in the loss.
UCI is one of only seven remaining teams
to average seven runs or more in the NCAA Tournament