Baseball’s upset bid falls short against No. 6 Oklahoma State


Rachel Rudisill / The Sunflower

Junior Sawyre Thornhill hits a single against OSU on Apr. 5 in Eck Stadium.

Shocker baseball was on the verge of its first ranked victory of the season, leading 3-1 against No. 6 Oklahoma State. But for the second straight game, the Shockers were unable to closeout the game, falling to the Cowboys, 5-3 on a windy Tuesday evening. 

 OSU scored three runs with two outs in the eighth inning and tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth to secure the two-run road victory.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to play a good team, it’s an opportunity,” Head Coach Eric Wedge. “We were in control of the game for seven innings and it slipped away from us in the bullpen in those last couple innings. We had a lot of missed opportunities that we should’ve taken advantage of earlier in the game to do a little bit more.”

The late rally spoiled an excellent start from freshman lefty Jace Miner, who held the Cowboys to just one run over a career-best five innings. Miner struck out four and walked only one, allowing seven hits. 

It was the second consecutive solid midweek start Miner had delivered for the Shockers, allowing four earned runs through four innings last week against Kansas.

“I came into this with a lot of confidence but I feel really good after this one,” Miner said. “I feel I could do a lot better, not the outcome I wanted at the end, but at the same time, I think we can all learn from this.”

After Miner allowed his lone run in the top of the first inning, he settled in against OSU, throwing four scoreless innings to put himself in line for his first career victory. WSU has struggled to find consistency in their midweek starters this season, but Miner has stood with his last two appearances. 

Miner made his first five appearances out of the bullpen, allowing seven earned runs in three innings pitched but has been more effective as a starter. In nine innings pitched during his two starts, Miner has seen his ERA dip to 9.00, after allowing only five earned runs against KU and OSU. 

“He’s ramping up and getting better,” Wedge said. “Today he was able to throw around 80 pitches and he’s starting to get built up now and he controlled the baseball game against a very good team.”

After rebounding from their slow start to the season, WSU has hit another rough patch, losing four of its last five games. The Shockers’ record now stands at 12-16 and a 1-2 record early on in conference play. WSU will now travel to Greenville, North Carolina to take on preseason favorite East Carolina this weekend.

The Shockers have struggled on the road to start this season, going 1-10. Their lone road victory came against Houston last weekend.

“We just hung with a really good team, a top-10 team,” Miner said. “I feel that could really help us keep going forward with it. We have a really good team, we have a lot of talent on this team and once it clicks we can be a scary team.”