Nessler's Pinch Hit In 10Th Lifts Ucf To 7-6 Victory Over Oklahoma State At Big 12 Tournament

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — AJ Nessler drove in the winning run with a two-out pinch-hit single in the top of the 10th inning and UCF overcame a four-run deficit to beat No. 2 seed Oklahoma State 7-6 at the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday night.

UCF (35-18) will play the winner of a matchup between 10th-seeded Texas Tech and Oklahoma State (37-17) in Friday's second semfinal. No. 1 seed Oklahoma plays the winner of Friday's first game — between No. 7 seed Kansas and ninth-seeded TCU — in the first semifinal of the day.

The Cowboys jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Zach Ehrhard led off with a double and scored on a single by Carson Benge. Nolan Schubart walked and Aidan Meola drove in Benge with a double. Schubart scored on a sacrifice fly from Colin Brueggemann and Lane Forsythe plated the final run with a ground out.

The Knights answered with a four-run second. Danny Neri was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch to lead off the inning. Andrew Williamson and Braden Calise drew back-to-back walks, ending the night for Cowboys starter Brennan Phillips. Evan O'Toole took over and threw two wild pitches to score Neri and Williamson. No. 9 hitter Mikey Kluska followed with an RBI double and Lex Boedicker delivered a two-out single to even the score.

Benge homered leading off the bottom of the fifth to give Oklahoma State a 5-4 lead

Matt Cedarburg answered with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to put UCF on top 6-5.

Oklahoma State pulled even in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lane Forsythe drew a one-out walk and scored all the way from first on a double by Tyler Wulfert. Kyle Kramer relieved Spencer Bauer and retired the next two batters to preserve the tie.

Dominic Castellano (6-0) pitched two perfect innings to close out the game and earn the victory for UCF, striking out three of the six batters he faced. Starter Najer Victor yielded five runs on six hits and four walks in five innings.

Gabe Davis (1-4) pitched the final 3 1/3 innings but took the loss for Oklahoma State. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.


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