Oklahoma State continued its winning ways on its home field Saturday, using an eighth inning rally to defeat Texas Tech, 5-2, in front of a season-high 3,758 fans at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Mark Ginther's three-RBI triple with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning fueled a four-run rally as OSU won for the 18th time in 21 games at home this season.
In clinching their second Big 12 Conference series win of the season, the Cowboys returned to .500 and fourth place in the league standings with a 7-7 league mark, and they are now 21-17 overall.
In the decisive inning, Cowboy freshman Wes Jones led off with a double, which knocked TTU starter Duke von Schamann from the game. A bunt single by Jarrett Higgins then gave OSU runners at the corners with no outs and the Pokes trailing 2-1.
After Red Raider reliever Shane Broyles got Hunter Bailey to fly out to shallow left field for the first out, he hit Robbie Rea with a pitch to load the bases and bring up Jared Womack. But Womack popped out to second, and Ginther stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases still full.
Ginther fell behind in the count 1-2, then sent a line drive toward right field. TTU's Nick Hanslik took a few steps toward the ball but then fell to the turf, and the ball sailed over his head for a triple that gave OSU its first lead of the game at 4-2.
The Cowboys added an insurance run on an RBI bunt single by Saulyer Saxon to take a 5-2 advantage into the final inning.
In the ninth, OSU reliever Chase Stevens retired the Red Raiders in order, striking out the final two batters to pick up the win and improve to 4-3 on the year.
Both starting pitchers baffled the offenses through the first six innings as the game entered the seventh scoreless.
But in the top of the seventh, TTU (22-19, 3-11) finally got to OSU right-hander Vince Wheeland. After the Cowboy sophomore retired the first two batters, Bo Altobelli singled, and Kevin Whitehead followed with an RBI triple. An infield single by Hanslik put the visitors up 2-0 before Wheeland got out of the inning by picking Hanslik off first.
OSU cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the inning. Womack and Ginther collected back-to-back singles to open the frame and following a sacrifice bunt by Saxon, Gabe Weidenaar delivered a sacrifice fly to center field to make the score 2-1.
Wheeland finished his day in the eighth after working 7.1 innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out five and did not issue a walk
The Cowboys will look for their second Big 12 series sweep of the season Sunday when the two teams square off in the finale at 1 p.m.