Rice Beats Oklahoma St. in Series
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Kenny Baugh pitched 7 2-3 strong innings and Charles Williams went 3-for-5 as Rice beat Oklahoma State 7-2 Sunday night, making the Cowboys the first team eliminated from the College World Series.
Williams had a triple and Zane Curry and Brett Smith each had doubles, and the Owls (59-14) collected seven singles against Oklahoma State left-hander Matt Smith (9-6).
Rice, seeded eighth, advanced to meet fifth-seeded Alabama (52-15) in an elimination game Tuesday.
Baugh (12-2), a right-hander, allowed nine hits but the Rice defense held up behind him. Baugh had five strikeouts, walked four and hit one batter in 130 pitches.
Jason Gray hit an arching home run into the right field stands in the bottom of the eighth to stretch Rice’s lead to 7-2. But the Owls already had put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh.
The fourth-seeded Cowboys (46-21) missed plenty of chances earlier. Oklahoma State loaded the bases with no outs in the first and second innings but produced no runs. The Cowboys stranded 12 runners, seven in scoring position.
Smith got 10 strikeouts but he nullified that effort by allowing 10 hits.
The Owls escaped in the first when Baugh struck out Josh Holliday and Lamont Matthews, who came to Omaha leading the nation with 105 RBIs but went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts at the CWS.
Baugh then got Jay McCullough on a force play.
In the second, Carlos Gautreaux grounded to third, where Rice’s Matt Fox stepped on the bag for the first out and threw home to get Toby Rhodes. Kevin Lucas then flied out to left.
It seemed for a time the Cowboys couldn’t do anything for a run. In the third, Billy Gasparino hit a towering shot to left but Williams caught it with his back against the wall.
Rice led 1-0 in the second after Berg singled and, two outs later, Curry doubled.
The Cowboys finally scored in the fourth, tying it when Chris Becerra doubled and came home when Gautreaux hit a hard grounder that shortstop Damon Thames couldn’t handle.
Thames made up for it when the next batter, Lucas, hit one into the hole. Thames caught up with the ball as he ran to his right, fielded it, spun and threw it back to second baseman Brett Smith to force Gautreaux.