Oklahoma State, which earned an NCAA Tournament bid despite not qualifying for the Big 12 Tournament, was the poster child for those criticizing some omissions/inclusions in the NCAA field.
After turning back host Clemson, 3-2, in the Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Saturday night, the Cowboys sit one victory away from heading to the Super Regionals.
The Cowboys will spend Sunday afternoon waiting for a 7 p.m. game against the winner of the 3 p.m. elimination game between top-seeded Clemson and Tennessee Tech.
Tennessee ousted Alabama, 6-2, earlier Saturday to stay alive.
Oklahoma State 3, Clemson 2
Neil Medchill’s eighth-inning single off Clemson first baseman Ben Paulsen’s glove drove in Micheal Dabbs to break a 2-2 tie.
The Cowboys (34-22), the designated home team, got a 1-2-3 ninth from freshman Randy McCurry (4-1) close out the win.
Oklahoma State, seeded third in the regional, got back-to-back solo home runs from Tom Belza — his fourth in two days after he hit just two in 54 regular-season games — and Mark Ginther to break a scoreless tie in the seventh
The Tigers tied the score in the top of the eighth when Brad Miller, John Nester, Chris Epps and Mike Freeman had consecutive one-out singles.
McCurry came in to face Jeff Schaus, Paulsen and Kyle Parker, who have combined for 35 of Clemson’s 59 home runs. He struck out Schaus, intentionally walked Paulsen and induced a popup from Kyle Parker to end the inning.
Tennessee Tech 6, Alabama 2
The fourth-seeded Golden Eagles (31-23-1) got a six-hit complete game from Michael Alcorn (3-3) and added to Alabama’s late-season misery in an elimination game.
It was the fourth straight loss and sixth in the last seven games for the Crimson Tide (37-21).
Alcorn scattered nine hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
Chad Hayes singled in a pair of runs in the second inning to give Tennessee Tech a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Alabama’s Brandon May was thrown out to end the inning when he tried to score from second after Del Howell’s infield single briefly got away from Hayes at second base.
The Golden Eagles created some breathing room with three runs in the seventh.