“I had really good fastball command. I was able to command the changeup and the slider in the repertoire as well,” Nurdin said. “It just felt good tonight.”
Looked good, too.
There was a brief stretch of struggle in the fifth, when West Virginia strung together three straight singles to load the bases with one out. But Nurdin got Bobby Boyd to line out to second, then ended the threat on a ground out.
That came after OSU had left the bases loaded in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Cowboys scored all their runs, with Aaron Cornell driving in one on a single, Tanner Krietemeier producing another on a squeeze bunt, Randy McCurry adding an RBI double and two more crossing the plate on a two-run error.
“I think the whole momentum of the whole game came down to how he escaped that fifth inning,” Holliday said. “We had a chance in the bottom of the fourth to do something, they escaped it. Tyler, bases loaded and one out, he escapes it.
“We answer with five runs. He was pretty darn good.”
After the fifth, Nurdin went back to breezing through innings, not allowing a hit the rest of the way.
“He came out there ready to go,” said Cowboys catcher Gage Green. “He knew how big this game was and he pitched his butt off, like he always does.
“I feel like he had everything going good. There were a couple pitches that got away from him, but when we came back to them, he was nails. The whole game, he was just getting better and better as he went.”