Matt Hague homered and Jordy Mercer made up for a throwing error by stifling a late Western Kentucky rally as top-seeded Oklahoma State escaped with a 5-3 victory Friday night in its first NCAA tournament home game in over a decade.


Matt Hague homered and Jordy Mercer made up for a throwing error by stifling a late Western Kentucky rally as top-seeded Oklahoma State escaped with a 5-3 victory Friday night in its first NCAA tournament home game in over a decade.
Freshman Thomas Belza had a two-run double and scored on Donnie Webb’s triple in the sixth inning as Oklahoma State built a five-run lead before a late surge by the Hilltoppers (33-26).
Wade Gaynor homered to lead off the seventh, and Western Kentucky got the tying run on base in the ninth before Mercer struck out Scott Kaskie to end the game and earn his ninth save.
The Cowboys (43-16), hosting their first regional since 1997, advanced to face second-seeded Wichita State, which beat TCU 8-5 earlier Friday. Western Kentucky and TCU will meet in an elimination game Saturday.
C.J. Wamsley followed Mercer’s throwing error from shortstop with a pinch-hit RBI single off reliever Matt Peck to get the Hilltoppers within 5-3 before Mercer shifted into his closer’s role to get out of the jam.
Tyler Lyons (12-2) gave up three runs on 10 hits in 8 2-3 innings, coming out of the game after three of the first four batters reached in the ninth — three on singles and one on Mercer’s throwing error.
Hilltoppers starter Matt Ridings (10-3) yielded five earned runs on 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Wichita St. 8, TCU 5
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Andy Dirks and Clinton McKeever each hit three-run home runs to lead Wichita State to a win in the opening game of the Stillwater Regional.
Dirks’ home run off Tyler Lockwood (7-2) gave the second-seeded Shockers (45-15) a 3-1 lead in the third inning.
Third-seeded TCU (43-18) will play Western Kentucky in an elimination game, while Wichita State next will play top-seeded OSU.