Corey Hassel’s homer sends Oklahoma State past Texas in 18-inning marathon

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STILLWATER, Okla. — Corey Hassel was the hero early Saturday morning as he carried 17th-ranked Oklahoma State to a series opening 6-3 walk-off win against No. 18 Texas at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

Hassel blasted a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 18th inning and picked up his first-career win on the mound as the Cowboys moved into first place in the Big 12 Conference standings at 5-2 and improved to 20-9 overall.

“Awesome,” said Hassel. “We battled as a team the whole time, and I got lucky enough to be put in a situation to end it. That was a fun game to play in.

“I was hungry and tired, and I was ready to get out of here so I figured we’d try to end it right there.”

Hassel’s game-winning swing came with two outs in the 18th inning of a game that tied for the longest in OSU history. The Cowboys also went 18 innings with Oklahoma in a game last season in Stillwater, but the contest against Texas lasted nearly an hour longer than that Bedlam affair, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and ending at 1:51 a.m. Saturday.

Both teams used nine pitchers in the contest and combined to leave 39 runners on base — 20 by Texas and 19 by the Cowboys — while UT outhit OSU by a 15-12 margin.

“That was an epic game, I don’t know what else you can say,” OSU head coach Josh Holliday said. “Great finish, a lot of courage, a lot of kids to be mentioned. But Corey [Hassel] in the end got the one swing of the bat that we all sought to have for the last nine innings of that thing…

“Both sides, both sets of players you have to admire. Texas’ players competed awfully hard, they pitched awfully good and they’re an excellent team. College athletes competing like that, you just admire the competitive spirit. And luckily for us in the end, we had a kid have an awfully big moment.”

Hassel’s moment came after Gage Green reached on a one-out walk, then stole second with two outs. Hunter Hagler was hit by a pitch to bring up Hassel, who crushed a 1-2 offering from Andy McGuire over the wall in left field.

The big hit at the plate also gave Hassel the victory on the mound. The junior started the game in center field before taking the mound in the 16th. The right hander had just two previous appearances in his three seasons in an OSU uniform, one this season and one a year ago, with both spanning one inning.

This time, Hassel worked three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.

Hassel said the 18-inning effort was obviously taxing for him and his teammates.

“Physically it’s tiring, and mentally and emotionally it’s tiring, too,” said Hassel. “We let a lot of opportunities slip away throughout the game, but we never stopped fighting and we kept coming the entire time. That’s a big plus for our team.

“We’ve got a bunch of great guys on our team, a lot of guys who want to win and who are great teammates. That really came through, and I feel like our team stuck with it a little bit harder than they did and it showed.”

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