Oklahoma State 16, South Carolina 11

Sunday, June 2, 1985

Cowboys forced to use star reliever

Oklahoma State Coach Gary Ward dipped one pitcher deeper into his staff than he wanted to Sunday night in a 16-11 victory over South Carolina in the College World Series.

"We hoped to get through the game with down-line people and save Jeff Bronkey to keep him fresh," Ward said.

"But we gave up some runs and let South Carolina back in the game, and we had to go to him."

Bronkey, a sophomore right - hander, saved the victory, advancing No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State (58-15) into the 7:10 game Wednesday night against Tuesday night's Miami-Texas loser.

The defeat eliminated No. 8-ranked South Carolina (47-22). In the first round, Oklahoma State lost to Mississippi State. The double-elimiation tournament will continue nightly in Rosenblatt Stadium through Saturday or Sunday.

Ward wants to be here for those final nights and was willing to take some chances Sunday.

"We were not playing to beat South Carolina," he said. "We were playing to win the national title. Whatever sends us into Wednesday in the best possible shape to play Wednesday and Friday is what it's all about."

Ward said he was "not happy" to have had to call on Bronkey for the final 2 1/3 innings Sunday.

Ward said he's like to have Bronkey for back - to - back games "if we're going to have a legitimate chance to beat somebody." Ward said Bronkey is the Cowboys' best relief pitcher.

Ward's plan to save Bronkey looked good when Oklahoma State left fielder Pete Incaviglia's three - run homer in the seventh built a 14-4 lead.

Incaviglia homered after going hitless in his first four at bats.

He struck out twice, once in the seven-run second.

In the seventh, though, the righthanded batting Incaviglia drilled righthander Larry Price's pitch over the left field fence despite a 13-mile-per hour wind blowing in.

South Carolina Coach June Raines said Incaviglia's figures indicate he's the best hitter in the country.

"We pitched him well three or four times, then we pitched him bad," Raines said. "We had two strikes on him, and then we lay a fat fastball right in his power alley. He hit it a ton."

The homer increased Incaviglia's NCAA season record totals in home runs to 48 and in RBIs to 143. He is batting .466 after adding a single in the eighth.

The Cowboys' seven-run second featured a two-run single by Billy Smith.

Raines said, "We were taking strikes the last four or five innings. It makes a long game, but we needed to get some runs, and they co-operated with us with some bases on balls."

The Cowboy pitchers walked 14, the same number the Gamecocks walked.

Ward said Oklahoma State starter Chris Bayley "did his job," though walking five before Marv Rockman relieved him in the fifth.

"We're a relief type corps," Ward said. "Marv normally throws strikes."

Rockman (7-0) was the winning pitcher. He walked four in 2 2/3 innings, two of the walks contributing to the sixrun Gamecock seventh.

"A nine-hop base hit up the middle that made it 14-7 was the key," Ward said. He was referring to Dave Hollins' single off Rockman in the seventh.

Just ahead of Hollins, Omaha Northwest High School graduate Jeff Churchich hit a pinch single.

Churchich, a junior, transferred to South Carolina from Miami Dade North Junior High after playing at the University of Nebraska as a freshman. Churchich caught the rest of the game. For the tournament, he was two for three and ended the season batting .294 in 41 games.

Ward summed up the 3-hour, 51-minute game.

"You get a win," he said, "but you don't have a real good feeling that you've gone out and played well."This ballclub can play well. I've seen them be awesome and dominating. We haven't shown that yet at this series."

More games played in 1985 CWS

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