Oklahoma State had the tying run on third and the winning run on second in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night, but the 22nd-ranked Cowboys failed to plate either runner as No. 6 Texas A&M escaped with an 8-7 win at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The loss was the third in a row for OSU, which fell to 32-22 overall and 13-10 in Big 12 Conference play with its 10th consecutive loss to TAMU (40-14, 15-8).
OSU trailed 8-6 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, and Mark Ginther led off the frame with a groundout against TAMU closer Kyle Martin to get the Aggies to within two outs of the win.
But the Cowboys didn't go quietly. Back-to-back walks to Wes Jones and Gage Green put a pair of OSU runners on and brought Saulyer Saxon to the plate. And the sophomore delivered with an opposite field, RBI double into the left field corner to make the score 8-7.
However, with runners on second and third and just one out, Hunter Bailey stepped to the plate and fouled out to first base before Robbie Rea fell behind in the count 0-2 and then grounded out to second to end the game.
TAMU controlled the game early on, plating four runs against OSU starter Vince Wheeland in the first two innings, and taking a 6-1 advantage into the bottom of the sixth inning.
However, the Cowboys put together a huge rally in the sixth, erasing the five-run deficit and tying the score with five hits.
The inning opened with the first of four consecutive singles off the bat of Bailey, and Jared Womack picked up an RBI with the fourth base hit to make the score 6-2. The Cowboys then trimmed their deficit in half on an RBI groundout by Trey Whaley.
With two on and one out, Ginther came up huge as he crushed an offering from Ross Stripling over the wall in left field. The three-run homer was Ginther's fifth of the season and first since March 24 at Missouri, and tied the game at 6-6.
The score remained knotted until the eighth when the Aggies pushed across what proved to be the decisive runs. OSU reliever Jake Abbott walked Krey Bratsen to open the inning, prompting the Cowboys to call on Chase Stevens out of the bullpen.
After a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, Stevens was poised to get out of the inning, but the Big 12's top hitter, Tyler Naquin, lined a triple to right field to put the Aggies back on top, 7-6. Naquin would score a pivotal insurance run when Stevens uncorked a wild pitch to the next hitter.
Abbott suffered the loss despite not allowing a hit in 2.1 innings of work as the Cowboy junior fell to 0-1 on the year.
Stripling surrendered a season-high six runs on nine hits in seven innings of work but picked up his 10th win of the season, while Martin earned his sixth save.
The two teams close out the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m.