OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Nathan Bannister and two relievers pitched a four-hitter, Arizona had 14 hits against what had been the best pitching staff in the NCAA Tournament, and the Wildcats beat Oklahoma State 9-3 at the College World Series on Friday.
The Wildcats forced a Saturday rematch, with the winner advancing to the best-of-three finals beginning Monday.
Bannister was dominant until he had to leave with an apparent injury with two outs in the third inning. Kevin Ginkel (5-1) and Cameron Ming held the Cowboys mostly in check the rest of the way. Jensen Elliott (9-3) took the loss.
More from FoxSports
JJ Matijevic and Zach Gibbons had three hits apiece to lead Arizona (46-23). The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the first on Matijevic's RBI single, marking the first time the Cowboys (43-21) have trailed in the national tournament. Louis Boyd doubled in a run and Gibbons had an RBI single in the second, and Gibbon's sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 4-0.
The Cowboys won their first two CWS games by scores of 1-0 to reach the bracket final, and they had an 0.71 ERA through their first seven tournament games. When their starting pitching didn't show up -- it had allowed three runs in its previous 51 innings -- the offense's struggle in Omaha was magnified. Oklahoma State is batting .170 with five runs through three CWS games.
Bannister, who has pitched a nation-leading 142 1/3 innings, was starting his fifth game of the NCAA Tournament. He allowed one run in eight innings of Arizona's 5-1 victory over Miami last Saturday.
He struck out five of the first eight batters he faced Friday. After he walked Collin Theroux, coach Jay Johnson, pitching coach Dave Lawn and an athletic trainer went to the mound. Bannister threw a couple of warmup pitches, then walked to the dugout, tipping his cap to Wildcats fans.
Four of Arizona's last five runs were unearned.
Oklahoma State's Conor Costello tripled in a run and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth. After Dustin Williams' single in the fourth, the Cowboys didn't get another hit until Garrett Benge was credited with a double when left fielder Justin Behnke lost the ball in the sun in the ninth.