Oklahoma State’s Aaron Cornell was even surprised with himself as he watched his first home run of the season sail over the fence.
Cornell ripped a three-run shot to left field in the eighth inning of tie game, lifting the Cowboys to an 11-8 victory over Oklahoma in a Big 12 Tournament elimination game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“It’s funny, I didn’t expect it out of my own self,” Cornell said. “(I was) just going up trying to find a good pitch. Got a hanging curveball the first pitch, fouled it off. And then the next one was (the same pitch) a little bit lower and I put a good swing on it. When I hit it I knew. I haven’t hit one like that I don’t think all year.”
The Sooners overcame two-run deficits in the first and seventh innings, before Cornell’s shot put OU away for good. It was OSU’s 25th comeback victory this season.
“Obviously it was a game of tremendous back and forth and ups and downs,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday. “Probably the story of the night is Aaron Cornell’s three-run homer. I’m proud of our team.”
Brendan McCurry came on to pitch the final two innings for OSU and earn his 17th save of the season, extending his school records for saves in a season and career.
“I’ve done it before (pitching two innings), so it really wasn’t that big of a deal to be honest,” McCurry said. “I was on call from the seventh to the ninth. I was in no matter what if we got the lead.”
Alex Hackerott got the win for OSU. Hackerott got the final two outs of the seventh inning after coming on in relief of Vince Wheeland, who had just given up a game-tying homer to OU’s Mac James.
After a two-hour rain delay, the game began at 9 p.m. on Friday and didn’t end until 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.
OSU (43-15) will now have to turn around and play Texas with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The Cowboys must beat the Longhorns twice to make the championship game on Sunday.