OMAHA, Neb. -- Oklahoma State pitcher Darren Dilks stayed in the game one pitch too long, but as it turned out, it didn't make any difference.
Dilks surrendered a one-out, three-run homer in the top of the ninth to Arizona State's Stan Holmes. The homer tied the College World Series contest at 10 and sent it into extra innings.
But in the bottom of the 13th inning shortly after midnight CDT Friday, Eric Dorn preserved the win for the Cowboys by singling in John Cardinali to give Oklahoma State an 11-10 win over the top-ranked Sun Devils. It was Arizona State's first loss in the double-elimination series.
Tonight the Cowboys, 3-0 in the tourney, meet Texas, 2-1, and Arizona State, 2-1, faces South Carolina, 2-1, in an elimination game.
Oklahoma State is assured of a berth in the championship game.
Dilks stayed in the game up to Holmes' 14th homer of the year despite giving up seven runs on seven hits. Holmes drove in his seventh RBI of the game with the blast and a record-breaking 14th RBI of the series.
'They got 10 runs on eight hits, and other than those, Darren Dilks dominated some of the best collegiate hitters in the nation,' said Oklahoma State Coach Gary Ward.
'We (the coaching staff) take complete responsibility for leaving him in as long as we did,' Ward said. 'I guess you reach a point when you stop coaching with your head and let your heart take over.'
Arizona State Coach Jim Brock said he didn't see any problems in bouncing back emotionally and physically from the loss. 'It's surely not an ideal situation, but not a big problem either,' he said.
He said Oklahoma State 'came as advertised, a good-hitting club with excellent defense. We just buried ourselves with bases on balls.' Arizona State pitchers walked 15 Oklahoma State batters.
However, he said, 'It would be very difficult to try and build a case for being robbed here tonight.'
Dilks got into trouble in the ninth when he walked Donnie Hill and Mike Sodders prior to Holmes' homer.
The Cowboys, who put their leadoff hitter on base in each of the extra innings, had many chances to win the game.
Oklahoma State's first big opportunity to win was squelched in the 10th when Sun Devils third baseman Sodders snagged a Bruce Kastelic line drive with one out and threw to second to double off Ray Etchebarren.
In the 13th, Cardinale led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stan Baughn. After Mickey Tettleton was intentionally walked and pinch hitter Dale Rath worked Arizona State pitcher Jim Boudreau for a walk, Dorn delivered his game-winning hit.
In the first inning, which lasted 54 minutes, Arizona State came up with two runs while Oklahoma State scored six. Arizona State scored three runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh to cut the Oklahoma State lead to 9-7.
Craig Tice picked up the win in relief for Oklahoma State. Tice pitched four innings without giving up a hit.
'It seems like Craig Tice has an effect on our team whenever he comes into the game,' Ward said. 'You can see the change in the dugout and on the field, too.'
Should the Cowboys lose today, three teams would remain in contention. The Cowboys would receive a bye into the final game, which would be played Monday night. If OSU wins, it would play the Arizona State-South Carolina winner Sunday in the championship game.
'Just 'playing' here is not what it's about,' Ward said. 'You have to be serious and need to win. We have to look at the possibility of playing three niners in three days; that's some serious ball.'