ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday pointed to the miscues.
The Cowboys’ cracks in their defense emerged at the most inopportune time. A mishandled bunt. An errant throw.
It was certainly costly.
“They took full advantage of it,” Holliday said.
Fourth-seeded OSU’s run in the Big 12 Tournament ended Saturday night in Globe Life Field in a stinging 9-2 loss to No. 5-seeded Texas, leaving the Cowboys one win shy of a third straight championship game appearance.
‘He was under control’: How Ryan Bogusz kept OSU alive in Big 12 Tournament semifinals
Instead, it’ll be the Longhorns taking on third-seeded OU at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Cowboys (39-20) will return home and await their regional location. Hosts will be announced Sunday night during the Big 12 title game. The selection show for the rest of the tournament is Monday morning.
And despite the ups and downs of the past three weeks, they remain in strong position to be a top-16 seed and host at least a regional.
“We fought awfully hard,” Holliday said. “We played a lot of good teams. Can’t see why we wouldn’t be in that discussion, but I’m not in the room and I’m not one that sits around and spends a whole lot of time worrying about things out of my control.
“I just try to prepare the team to play well. I think the team’s performance here speaks strongly. Big 12 baseball is outstanding.”
The numbers back Holliday up.
The Cowboys entered Saturday ranked No. 15 in RPI. They jumped into the top 10 after beating Texas 8-1 in the first semifinal matchup earlier in the day.
OSU finished the day ranked No. 10, just ahead of No. 12 Texas despite the loss. OSU is the highest-ranked team in RPI within the Big 12.
One benefit for the Cowboys has been going 4-2 against the Longhorns.
After a three-game sweep in Austin, the Cowboys did drop two of three in the tournament to Texas.
“It’s a lot of baseball,” Holliday said. “I guess, 4-2 from our perspective. I’m proud of that. I think we played very well against an outstanding Texas team. I think they’re a real threat in the postseason.”
The Cowboys’ offense rolled in Saturday’s opener behind reliever Ryan Bogusz, who started and pitched into the ninth.
And it looked like that momentum might carry over early.
Jake Thompson — who went 2 for 4 with four RBIs in the opener — had a sacrifice fly in the first.
But then errors by starter Hueston Morrill in the second and third inning opened the floodgates.
Texas scored twice in the second after Morrill threw a comeback-grounder into center field trying to start a double play. They scored five times in the third after he allowed two singles, mishandled a bunt to load the bases and then hit a batter.
The Longhorns jumped to a 7-1 lead.
“They delivered,” Holliday said.
OSU’s offense was quieted by five different Texas relievers, with the only run coming on a solo home run by Nolan McLean in the fifth.
By then, the damage was done.
Now, OSU just waits for the next group of postseason opponents. The belief is they should all meet at O’Brate Stadium.
“If that body of work doesn’t earn you a regional, then hang with it,” Holliday said.
Big 12 baseball tournament schedule
At Arlington, Texas
Wednesday, May 25
Game 2: No. 1 TCU 4, No. 8 Baylor 2
Game 3: No. 2 Texas Tech 5, No. 7 Kansas State 3
Thursday, May 26
Game 6: Kansas State 8, West Virginia 5
Game 7: Texas 5, TCU 3
Game 8: OU 6, Texas Tech 3
Friday, May 27
Game 9: Oklahoma State 8, TCU 4
Game 10: Kansas State 6, Texas Tech 5 (11 innings)
Saturday, May 28
Game 11: Oklahoma State 8, Texas 1
Game 12: OU 4, Kansas State 3
Game 13: Texas 9, Oklahoma State 2
Sunday, May 29
Game 15: OU vs. Texas, 5 p.m.
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.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma State eliminated in Big 12 baseball semifinal by Texas