The Oklahoma State Cowboys earned a spot in the College World Series for the first time since 1999. Walking into TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday at 2 PM, the Cowboys face and unlikely opponent in UC Santa Barbara. The Gachos are making their first appearance at the CWS after shocking the nation. How’d they get here?
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Starting NCAA Regional play undefeated, the Cowboys carried the momentum into South Carolina to face the Gamecocks. Winning the first game of the series, Oklahoma State entered game two looking to close out their opponent.
Finding a rhythm in the fifth inning, the Cowboys offense came knocking on the door due to an errant throw to second. Swinging the bat, J.R. Davis hit a grounder to the infield. In what should have been a routine force out at first, USC shortstop Marcus Mooney overthrew D.C. Arendas hoping to tag OSU’s Jon Littel. Instead, Littel advanced to third while Davis safely reached first with a single out on the board.
Coming up to bat, Corey Hassel received the sign to bunt. Laying the ball down up the first base line, Littel scored as O-State took the lead. A single from Donnie Walton next pushed Davis across the plate while Hassel advanced to third.
Walton’s attempt to steal second after the RBI single was met with an errant throw soaring into the outfield. With the ball in play, Hassel made the most of the opportunity taking a 3-0 lead.
Unable to overcome the errors, the Gamecocks season came to an end.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
After taking game one of the Super Regional over the Louisville Cardinals, it appeared as though the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos fate would be decided in a decisive game three at Louisville.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Gauchos were facing one of the nation’s best closers and first round draft pick in Zack Burdi. Allowing only one homerun in 19 games, Burdi was expected to end the game despite a loaded bases situation. Starting down the mound at freshman Sam Cohen, the pitcher rocked and fired.
Swinging away, Cohen made contact with the ball. Watching and waiting, the ball sailed over the wall as the walk-off grand slam sent the program to their first world series.