OSU squeaks past Indians

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

STILLWATER, Okla. -- An infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored two runs to break a tie game and Oklahoma State handed Southeast Missouri State University a 10-8 defeat Tuesday night.

The Indians (10-13) and Cowboys (18-9) will close out their two-game series at 4 p.m. today.

Southeast battled OSU of the Big 12 Conference on virtually even terms most of the way -- the Indians held early leads of 4-0 and 8-5 -- before the Cowboys squeezed out the victory.

"It's tough. We played a good club and played very well tonight," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "It was a heck of a game and it's a tough game to lose. But at the same time, to play this well on the road, I couldn't be prouder of the kids."

In the bottom of the eighth, the Cowboys put runners on second and third with two outs against Anthony Maupin -- who had kept Southeast in the game with two shutout innings of relief -- when Hogan turned to his closer, Brad Smith.

Mario Matulich, the first batter Smith faced, hit a ball off the plate that bounced more than 30 feet into the air before it got to Smith. Matulich was safe on the infield single as two runners came home.

Eric Horstman and Frankie Montiel both had three hits to lead the Indians while Gary Gilbert added two. Matulich and Josh Fields led the Cowboys with three hits apiece. Fields had the game's only home run.

The Indians broke on top with four runs in the top of the first inning, on four hits, including Horstman's leadoff double. Bryan Kurt and Gary Gilbert had RBI singles, Bo Jenkins drove in a run by being hit with a pitch and Brent Lawson added an RBI on a ground out.

OSU got one in the first and two in the second, then grabbed a 5-4 lead on Fields' two-run homer in the third.

But the Indians came back with a four-run fourth that featured Montiel's RBI single and a three-run double by Freddy Lopez.

The Cowboys, who outhit Southeast 14 to 11, tied it with a three-run fifth that included a two-run double by Rusty Ryal.

Maupin, the third of four Southeast pitchers, was the tough-luck loser as he fell to 3-3.

Brett McDonald (1-0), OSU's fourth hurler, helped the Cowboys avoid an upset as he blanked Southeast over the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing one hit while striking out six.

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