STILLWATER, OK -- Oklahoma State right fielder Michael Dabbs drove in five runs on Easter Sunday afternoon, as the Cowboys handed No. 17 Texas A&M a 6-4 loss before 842 fans at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
With the loss, A&M fell to 17-6 and 3-3 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys took the series and improved to 15-6 and 3-3.
“The difference in today’s game is that they got the big hits and we didn’t,” A&M coach Rob Childress said. “I thought we pitched pretty well all weekend, well enough to win the series or even sweep, but we didn’t get the big hits when they counted. It’s disappointing. We’ve got a good team and we definitely haven’t played our best baseball of the season yet, but we have to keep getting better. But the bottom line this weekend is we didn’t get it done.”
The Aggies took a first-inning lead off Cowboy right-hander Tyler Blandford. Kyle Colligan led off the game with a walk, and moved to second on a ground out.
Dane Carter followed with a single through the right side to score Colligan, then promptly swiped second base. Jose Duran brought him home with a line-drive single to left center, giving A&M a 2-0 lead.
Blandford quickly settled down however, retiring 13 of the next 15 A&M batters and allowing the Cowboys to get back in the game.
Oklahoma State, the Big 12’s top home run hitting team, would not wait long to register its first long ball of the weekend.
Third-inning singles by Neil Medchill and Thomas Belza, sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt, put runners at the corners with one out. Dabbs followed with his first round-tripper of the year, a first-pitch shot over the fence in right, to put the Cowboys up 3-2.
In the fourth, Rebel Ridling added a leadoff homer to left, his sixth of the season, to extend the lead to 4-2.
Dabbs drove in two more runs in the sixth with an opposite field, two-out triple down the left field line that extended the OSU lead to four. The hit would prove the eventual game-winner.
Solo home runs to right by Luke Anders and Dane Carter in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, cut OSU’s lead to 6-4.
A&M would bring the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, but Brian Ruggiano’s fly ball to center was caught on the warning track to end the game.
Clayton Ehlert (2-2), who lasted four innings in his second career Big 12 start, gave up seven hits, four runs (all earned) and walked one and suffered the loss.
Blandford improved to 3-1 after going eight innings and allowing six hits, four runs and two walks while striking out four. Matt Peck picked up his second save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
“This team needs to truly believe how good of a team we really do have,” Childress said. “We have to show up ready to play and with a chip on our shoulder. We’ve got a very talented bunch that knows what it takes to win at a high level, and we have to go execute that in every facet of the game.”
Texas A&M continues its season-long seven-game road swing on Tuesday when the Aggies head to the Alamo City to face Texas-San Antonio. First pitch at Wolff Stadium is set for 6 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for those 18 and under, and are available at the Wolff Stadium box office (M-F, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). The game will be broadcast locally on WTAW-AM 1620.
TEXAS A&M POSTGAME NOTES:
• Sunday’s one-run win for Oklahoma State marked the ninth time in the last 10 meetings between the schools, and 16 of the last 19 overall, in which the game was decided by two or fewer runs.
• Jose Duran’s first-inning single extended his hit streak to a season-best seven games…the junior has now hit safely in 12 of the last 13 contests and 18 of 23 overall in 2008.
• Dane Carter has hit safely in 21 of the Aggies’ 23 games this season after a first-inning single…Carter has also reached base safely (hit or walk) in all 23.
• Darby Brown’s fourth-inning double extended his hit streak to seven games, one shy of his career high (set last season).
• Sophomore Clayton Ehlert made the second Big 12 start of his career on Sunday…Ehlert’s other start in league action came last April 29 at Olsen Field against Baylor…he did not factor in the decision, a 16-12 loss for the Aggies.
• With Luke Anders’ seventh-inning long ball, Texas A&M has now hit a home run in five consecutive games.
• The Aggies played for just the fifth time in the last 20 years on Easter Sunday…A&M’s last Easter baseball game was a 9-7 loss at Kansas on April 11, 2004…Oklahoma State was the last team the Aggies have beaten on Easter, a 4-2 victory on April 20, 2003…A&M has now played four Big 12 games on Easter and has a 1-3 record.
• Texas A&M lost its third straight series to Oklahoma State overall and third straight in Stillwater.
• OSU now leads the series, 33-22, and 23-17 since the formation of the Big 12 in 1997.
• Gametime temperature was 46 degrees, the coldest of the year for A&M, with clear skies and winds blowing in from left-center at 5-10 miles per hour.