ARLINGTON, Texas – Almost exactly a month ago, Oklahoma State had Pete Hansen’s number.
The Cowboys ‘offense battered and bruised Texas’ ace pitcher over seven innings to kickstart a three-game sweep in Austin.
But that was then.
Wednesday was a different Hansen. And the complete opposite result occurred.
OSU’s offense fell silent as Hansen befuddled the Cowboys into the eighth inning in a 4-0 loss Wednesday morning to open the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Globe Life Field.
“It was just one of those days where he kept us on pause,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said. “We never got the play button pushed when it came to offense.”
The fourth-seeded Cowboys (36-19) have dropped six of their past eight games. They entered the tournament still projected as a regional tournament host. But that becomes more challenging with the loss.
OSU now awaits the loser of No. 1 TCU and No. 8 Baylor at 9 am Thursday in an important elimination game.
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Hansen (10-1) held OSU to just three hits and two walks over 7 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out 12 batters, a total he’s reached three times this spring, while matching a season-high 122 pitches. He did not allow a baserunner past first base.
It was quite different from when Hansen allowed four homers and six earned runs in the first meeting.
“This time, it seemed like, I do not know, he was putting pitches in spots that were just tough to put the bat on,” said OSU outfielder Jake Thompson, who homered off Hansen in the first matchup.
Hansen simply adjusted and OSU did not.
He said his fastball was the best it’s been all season. He located it with precision. That opened up his other pitches.
“No doubt they had my number last game,” Hansen said. “For me it was, ‘I get another crack at these guys.’ They’re a great ballclub, but today was our day. “
Hansen’s day outshined OSU right-hander Victor Mederos.
The Cowboys’ talented right-hander pitched into the seventh in his second start since suffering an oblique injury at Texas in April.
In six innings, Mederos allowed three runs – two earned – on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five.
“I felt back to normal,” Mederos said. “There was some time between when I had the injury and Rob and I fixed some things with my mechanics. I felt good. I felt I was able to command the ball.
“There’s some pitches I wish I got back, but that’s part of baseball.”
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Mederos made a costly mistake in the sixth – throwing away the ball on a bunt by Texas’ Douglas Hodo III, allowing Trey Faltine to score from first.
Then the Longhorns adjusted.
They worked to grind out at-bats against Mederos, fighting off his sweeping slider.
Texas designated hitter Austin Todd homered on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to open the seventh. After a hard-hit single by Skyler Messinger on the fourth pitch of his at-bat, Mederos’ day was done. Messinger later scored on a single by Faltine.
The Longhorns added another run off reliever Hueston Morrill when catcher Silas Ardoin homered with one out in the top of the ninth.
By then, Hansen’s day was done. And OSU’s offense was on lockdown.
Now, the key is getting the bats going again.
“We just did not get anything going,” Holliday said. “There’s times when you can as a coach put your finger on certain elements that disappoint you, but we ran into a pitcher that gave us nothing and as a result we did not earn enough on our own.
“Some days when a guy’s locked in you have to earn something. You have to make adjustments or do something midgame to turn the tide. We simply did not turn it today. ”
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Big 12 tournament schedule
At Arlington, Texas
(* -if necessary)
Wednesday, May 25
Game 1: No. 5 Texas 4, No. 4 Oklahoma State 0
Game 2: No. Baylor vs. 8 No. 1 TCU, 12:30 pm
Game 3: No. 7 Kansas State Vs. No. 2 Texas Tech, 4 pm
Game 4: No. West Virginia Vs. No. 3 Oklahoma, 7: 3 0 pm
Thursday, May 26
Game 5: Oklahoma State Vs. G2 loser, 9 am
Game 6: G3 loser vs. G4 loser, 12:30 pm
Game 7: Texas Vs. G2 winner, 4 pm
Game 8: G3 winner vs. G4 winner, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 27
Game 9: G7 loser vs. G5 winner, 3:15 pm
Game 10: G8 loser vs. G6 winner, 7p.m.
Saturday, May 28
Game 11: G7 winner vs. G9 winner, 9 am
Game 12: G8 winner vs. G10 winner, 12:30 pm
Game 13: G11 winner vs. G11 loser *, 4 pm
Game 14: G12 winner vs. G12 loser *, 4 pm or 7:30
Sunday, May 29
Game 15: Championship, 5 pm
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Jacob Unruh covers college sports for The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.