Oklahoma State had its season-long eight-game winning streak snapped Saturday as Baylor knocked off the 20th-ranked Cowboys, 5-3, in 12 innings at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The Cowboys have nine comeback wins this season but, despite numerous chances, couldn't get another as they stranded 15 runners on the base paths and fell to 19-4 on the season. OSU and Baylor (11-12) will battle in the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m., with the Pokes looking for their sixth consecutive weekend series win.
"It's a tough loss," said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. "We were responsive throughout and kept coming back at them. Today is one of those days where you've got to give (Baylor) credit. With the game on the line and their backs against the wall, they found the courage to make pitches, pitch out of a tough situation and extend the game into extra innings where anything can happen. To their credit, they did the things necessary in the late stages of that game to win, capitalized on a mistake or two of ours and created their own luck.
"Our guys will tell you that one is gonna sting for a while. We haven't lost a whole lot of games. We'll have to deal with the emotion of a loss and bounce back quickly. It's a gut check for us, and that's Big 12 baseball."
OSU held the game's first lead after a Tanner Krietemeier RBI single in the fifth inning, but the Bears responded with a three run-rally in the sixth to overtake the Cowboys.
In that inning, BU plated each of its runs against Cowboy starter Mark Robinette, but only one of those was earned as the Bears took advantage of a throwing error by third baseman Robbie Rea. Cal Towey brought home the first two runs on a single, and two batters later, a two-out single by Adam Toth made the score 3-1.
But the Cowboys rallied for runs in each of their next two at bats, getting an RBI single from Donnie Walton in the sixth and tying the scoring on a sacrifice fly by Zach Fish in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Vince Wheeland continued to dominate on the mound. The junior righty worked 5.2 scoreless innings in relief of Robinette, allowing just two hits and striking out five.
OSU looked poised to get Wheeland his sixth win of the season in the ninth. Aaron Cornell was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Krietemeier reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. Both runners then advanced on a wild pitch by Josh Michaelc to give the Cowboys runners on second and third with no outs.
However, Holliday's club could not take advantage. Michalec struck out Fish, and Crayton Bare then came out of the bullpen and got pinch-hitter Trey Whaley to ground into an inning-ending double play as BU third baseman Nathan Orf snared the ball and tagged Cornell at third before firing to first to get the Bears out of the jam.
OSU also mounted a rally in the 10th. Randy McCurry led off the inning with a single, and after a sacrifice bunt, Saulyer Saxon was hit by a pitch. But the Bears caught McCurry stealing after a pickoff attempt, and Gage Green struck out looking to end the inning following an intentional walk to Donnie Walton.
In the decisive inning, the Bears drew a leadoff walk against OSU's Brendan McCurry before an RBI double by Logan Brown plated the go-ahead run, which marked the first earned run McCurry had allowed in 10 appearances this season. BU added an insurance run on an bases-loaded error with two outs to make the score 5-3.
The Cowboys would bring the winning run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the 12th, but Walton grounded out to end the game.
Brendan McCurry took the loss for OSU to fall to 3-1, while Bare improved to 1-1.