Ryan Sepede hits a home run against Oklahoma State. (BYU Baseball)

BYU baseball gets historic series-opening win over No. 6 Oklahoma State

The BYU baseball team defeated No. 6 Oklahoma State 8-6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, home of the MLB’s Texas Rangers Thursday.

The “Bat Cats” wasted no time going after the sixth-ranked team in the nation in the bottom of the first. With Mitch McIntyre on first, right fielder Cole Gambill blasted a two-run home run to right field that helped get the scoring started. Freshman catcher Collin Reuter helped the Cougars with a solo home run of his own right after Gambill’s, giving the Cougars an early 3-0 lead.

Oklahoma State backed up its No. 6 ranking by scoring five unanswered runs, producing a two-run home run in the top of the third, a two-run double in the top of the fifth, and an RBI single in the top of the sixth. That was good enough to give the Cowboys a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

But BYU stepped up to the challenge and refused to quit. The Cougars came roaring back, no pun intended, with an RBI single from Hayden Leatham, followed by a pinch-hit grand slam from Ryan Sepede, to put the Cougars back in front, 8-6.

“I just wanted to keep things simple,” Sepede said. “The bases juiced, coming off the bench, just wanted to hit a line drive right up the middle, get a fastball to hit.”

The bullpen helped preserve the lead and the win, giving up only one run over the final three innings. Bryce Robison was given the win on the mound, going two innings and allowing only two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Reid McLaughlin did his normal business as closer, retiring the Cowboys on three straight outs in the top of the ninth to earn him his fifth save of the season.

Sepede credited the pitching staff today, and said that it was the strongest part of their staff and that they can get up for a challenge that a team like Oklahoma State can present.

BYU head coach Mike Littlewood was certainly proud of his players and the effort they gave tonight. “Man we just play hard, we never gave up, and just played 27 outs.”

Littlewood said he texted Sepede before the game and said to be prepared to hit in this game, despite not being in the starting lineup, and was glad that it came to fruition.

The Cougars seek the series win Friday at 5:30 p.m. MST.

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