Oklahoma State blanks Arizona in College World Series

On Monday night, Oklahoma State took one more step toward the finals of the College World Series.

Behind a strong pitching performance, OSU stayed in the winners’ bracket by beating Arizona 1-0 in Omaha.

With the win, the Cowboys improved to 43-20 on the year and became the first team in CWS history to record back-to-back 1-0 victories. The Wildcats dipped to 45-22 with the loss.

The Cowboys will be back in action on Friday at 2 p.m. against either UCSB or Arizona.

Pitcher Tyler Buffett had a career-high eight innings in the contest against Arizona, surrendering just three hits and two walks while striking out six to improve to 9-3 on the year.

OSU provided the lone run of the game in the top of the fourth when shortstop Donnie Walton led off the inning with a double over the head of Wildcat leftfielder Alfonso Rivas. Third baseman Garrett Benge promptly delivered an RBI single to right to get the Pokes on the board.

Arizona’s Bobby Dalbec followed by hitting Conor Costello with the first pitch of the designated hitter’s at-bat, giving the Pokes a pair of baserunners with no outs. However, Dalbec retired the next three hitters to limit the damage.

OSU threatened again in the seventh after centerfielder Ryan Sluder drew a leadoff walk. Leftfielder Jon Littell moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but the Arizona hurler retired the next two Cowboys to work out of trouble once again.

After retiring eight consecutive hitters, Buffett issued a one-out walk in the eighth, but the junior got Wildcat shortstop Louis Boyd to roll into a double play to end the inning.

Junior Trey Cobb came on to pitch the ninth for the Cowboys. After surrendering a two-out walk, the righthander got Arizona designated hitter JJ Matijevic to ground out and end the game.

The save for Cobb was his sixth of the year, four of which have come during the postseason. Dalbec worked eight innings and took the loss, falling to 10-5 on the season.

With the win, OSU improved to 40-36 all time at the College World Series. OSU last won consecutive CWS games in 1993, knocking off Arizona State and Texas. The Cowboys last posted back-to-back shutouts in NCAA play at the 1960 NCAA Finals with victories over North Carolina (7-0) and Boston College (1-0). With the shutout, the Cowboys extended their scoreless innings streak to 19.2 in a row. The two teams endured a two-hour, 21-minute weather delay prior to the start of the contest.

With his start, Tyler Buffett set a new school single-season mark with his 36th appearance. Buffett’s start was also the 69th of his career, tying him for eighth on OSU’s all-time list with Jeff Breedlove. Buffett worked a career-high eight innings in the contest.