Cowboy Baseball opens Stillwater Regional with win over Niagara

Oklahoma State won the opening game of the NCAA Stillwater Regional on Friday night as the top-seeded Cowboys posted a 19-7 win over No. 4 seed Niagara at O’Brate Stadium.

With the win, the 12th-ranked Cowboys improved to 41-17 and will face third-seeded Florida in a winner’s match on Saturday at 6 p.m. Niagara fell to 46-12 and will face second-seeded Nebraska in an elimination game. Saturday.

Offensively, every Cowboy in the starting lineup scored a hit in the game, as the Big 12 champions scored multiple runs in six frames.

Zach Ehrhard led the way with three extra-base hits, including a home run, and four RBIs. Nolan Schubart also went deep and had three RBIs, while Aidan Meola and Ian Daugherty both drove in two runs in the game.

Evan O’Toole took the win on the mound and improved to 2-0 on the season. The senior right-hander pitched four shutout innings in relief, striking out four and allowing just two hits. Sam Garcia started the game, working 3 2/3 innings and striking out five while allowing five runs.

Carson Benge opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning on a walk to Lane Forsythe. Ehrhard followed with his own RBI double to create a two-run lead. A final run was scored on a fielding error to end the opening frame.

Another four points were added in the second. Schubart blasted his team-high 21st home run of the year to drive home two runs. Meola hit an RBI single to left field, while Daugherty doubled to extend the margin to seven.

The Purple Eagles responded with a unique run in the third frame on a double by Nick Groves.

Four more runs came for OSU in the fourth, with Forsythe and Benge reaching base for Schubart to single to right field to bring them home. Meola and Daugherty then recorded RBI singles to make the game 11-1 after three frames.

Niagara rallied in the fourth inning, driving in four runs on four hits. Rees Kozar singled and went second, then Nick Monile bunted to load the bases for Groves, who delivered a two-RBI double to cut the Purple Eagles’ deficit to six runs.

A single point was added in Kelly Corl’s away game, making it an 11-6 game.

The runs continued for OSU in the fifth when three consecutive batters walked, setting up a bases-clearing double by Colin Brueggemann, making it 14-6.

With one run in the sixth inning for Niagara, OSU responded with three more. After the bases were loaded, Ehrhard took four balls to score a run, while a throwing error helped two more Cowboys cross the plate.

Ehrhard recorded his 13th home run of the season in the eighth inning, a two-run shot that marked his third extra base hit of the game.

O’Toole capped his performance with two strikeouts in the ninth, securing the win for the Cowboys.

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