STILLWATER — Oklahoma State's baseball team was already facing an unaccustomed bit of adversity, carrying the season's first losing streak into a weekend series with Texas.
Then in the opener, Cowboys ace Jason Hursh absorbed shots from the Longhorns for his first defeat, stretching the team's skid to three games. And then, as OSU had built some momentum, grabbing an early lead in Game 2 of the series Friday night, a halting rain came, pushing play to a Saturday doubleheader.
The response: a pair of Cowboy wins, 8-3 and 5-4, restoring some strut, just in time for a nonconference Bedlam visit to Norman on Tuesday night.
“We felt like we had to come out and respond,” said OSU junior outfielder Saulyer Saxon. “It didn't go as we planned Thursday night, but we were able to come back and fight. And that shows a lot about our team and our character.”
And Saxon played a key role in both wins for the Cowboys, ranked as high as No. 18 in two of the four major polls.
With OSU clinging to a 4-3 lead in the day's first game, he came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit single that sparked a four-run eighth inning. Saxon, in the lineup to start the second game, got the Cowboys going again in the first inning with a one-out single that ignited a four-run outburst to start Game 3 of the series.
OSU improved to 21-6 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12, while Texas fell to 16-11 and 2-4 in a critical series for both teams.
While Saxon was at the heart of the two big innings, there were plenty of other Cowboys contributing along the way. Center fielder Jarrett Higgins came up with big plays defensively and produced a two-run double late in Saturday's first game. Robbie Rea drove in two runs and scored twice. Randy McCurry added two RBIs. Donnie Walton banged three hits, including a run-scoring double.
And the OSU bullpen pieced things together from the mound, allowing just three runs over a combined 10 2/3 innings. Vince Wheeland improved to 6-0 in the first win. And Mark Robinette, Alex Hackerodt and Brendan McCurry each pitched in both games, with McCurry finishing each for his second and third saves.