Oklahoma State baseball: OSU fares much better against Arizona State this time around

Now at No. 9 in the national rankings, OSU opened its nonconference series against the Sun Devils — and one of the same pitchers who handcuffed them in March — with an 8-5 win Friday night at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
by John Helsley Published: May 2, 2014
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photo - The Oklahoma State bench congratulates Tim Arakawa (2) as he returns from scoring a run during a NCAA college baseball game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Arizona State University at Allie P. Reynolds stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, May 2, 2014. Photo by KT King, The Oklahoman
The Oklahoma State bench congratulates Tim Arakawa (2) as he returns from scoring a run during a NCAA college baseball game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Arizona State University at Allie P. Reynolds stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, May 2, 2014. Photo by KT King, The Oklahoman

— Oklahoma State’s first run-in with a quality club didn’t go so well, as the Cowboys looked almost inept in a March 2 loss to Arizona State, striking out 15 times.

Two months later, to the day, they and their profile project much better.

Now at No. 9 in the national rankings, OSU opened its nonconference series against those same Sun Devils — and one of the same pitchers who handcuffed them before — with an 8-5 win Friday night at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

It was the fourth straight win for the Cowboys and their 18th in 23 games, pushing their record to 33-13 overall.

And it was a major departure from that March 2 meeting in Surprise, Ariz.

“I’d like to think we’re a better team, sure,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday. “That particular day we went out there and they were awfully good and we weren’t at our best. A lot of games have come and gone since then.”

No. 26 Arizona State rolled into Stillwater with two of the pitchers who combined for those 15 strikeouts — left-handers Brett Lilek and Ryan Kellogg — scheduled to start the first two games of the series. Lilek, who entered with a 1.75 earned run average, managed but eight outs this time. He was roughed up for six runs in 2 2/3 innings, although with little help from his defense.

Still, after the Sun Devils spotted him a 3-2 lead in the second, Lilek walked two of the first three batters he faced in the third, then allowed a run-scoring double to Tanner Krietemeier to tie it. A two-run error ended his day.

“We struggled at the beginning of the season,” said Krietemeier, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, “but lately our game has been coming together. That’s been a big confidence booster. It’s nice to go out and play our game.”

The Cowboys tacked on two more runs against reliever Eric Melbostad to lead 8-3, while the Sun Devils managed but a two-run rally in the seventh.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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