March 7, 2013
#26 Oklahoma State (10-2)
Nine games into a 26-game homestand, Oklahoma State brings a 10-2 record into this weekend's series with Loyola Marymount at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, which opens Friday at 6:30 p.m. before a Saturday contest at 3 p.m. and a Sunday noon finale. Admission to all three games is free. Earlier this week, the Cowboys entered the national rankings for the first time in 2013 as they checked in at No. 26 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll and at No. 27 in the NCBWA rankings.
OSU, which entered the 2013 season as the eighth winningest program in NCAA history with a .664 winning percentage, in its 102nd season of baseball and the program's first under head coach Josh Holliday, a former star at OSU in the 1990s.
OSU is coming off a 2012 season in which the Cowboys finished 32-25 overall, which included coming in fifth in the Big 12 Conference standings with a 13-11 mark.
A pair of All-Big 12 performers in Robbie Rea and Randy McCurry lead a group of 15 returning letterwinners from 2012, while 19 newcomers round out the OSU roster.
The Cowboys were picked by league coaches to finish fifth in the Big 12 race. Oklahoma was tabbed as the favorite.
About Loyola Marymount
Loyola Marymount is 5-8 on the season. Led by Matt Lowenstein and Tanner Donnels, the Lions are hitting .269, while they sport a team ERA of 3.77.
Expected to start on the mound for the Lions this weekend are:
Fri. - RHP Colin Welmon (2-1, 0.86) Sat. - RHP Trevor Megill (1-1, 2.95)
Sun. - RHP Aaron Griffin (1-2, 1.96)
OSU is 6-2 all time against Loyola Marymount. The last meeting came in 2010 at the Dairy Queen Classic in Minneapolis, with the Cowboys dropping a 3-0 contest.
Watch, Listen, Follow
All OSU baseball games are carried live by Stillwater Radio. This weekend's games will air on KVRO 101.1 FM (Friday), KSPI 780 AM (Saturday) and KSPI 93.7 FM (Sunday). Rex Holt, who is in his 31st season with Cowboy baseball, will call the action, with Matt "Chief" Davis providing color commentary.
GameTracker live stats for all games can be found at www.okstate.com. Additionally, live online video and audio for all home games not televised can be accessed via okstate.com (a fee is involved with this service). A webcast for the Loyola Marymount series will not be available. Video/audio/live stats links are all available on the OSU baseball page under Schedule.
The goal of college baseball coaches and players is to make it to the College World Series in Omaha, and the OSU coaching staff has plenty of experience in that regard.
The Cowboys' staff of Josh Holliday, Rob Walton and Marty Lees has combined to make 12 CWS appearances as either a player or coach.
Holliday played on a pair of CWS teams at OSU (1996 & 1999) and has coached in the CWS as an assistant at Georgia Tech (2006), Arizona State (2009) and Vanderbilt (2011).
Walton spent four seasons as a pitcher at OSU from 1983-86, and each of those Cowboy teams appeared in the CWS.
As an assistant coach at Oregon State, Lees helped lead the Beavers to Omaha three-straight years from 2005-07, with two of those trips resulting in national championships (2006 & 2007).
In January, despite his having not yet coached a game, Baseball America named OSU's Josh Holliday the nation's top college head coach under the age of 40. The top 10 list was compiled based on the voting of coaches and scouts.
In addition, Marty Lees came in at No. 6 on Baseball America's list of the nation's top 10 college assistant coaches. That list was compiled from the votes of 70 Division I head coaches across the country, as well as the input of more than a dozen scouts. Coaches with prior D-I head coaching experience, such as OSU pitching coach Rob Walton, were excluded from the list.
Baseball In Their Blood
Baseball -- and Oklahoma State -- is definitely a family affair for Josh Holliday.
Josh's father, Tom, served as an OSU assistant coach for 19 years then took over as the Cowboys' head coach from 1997-2003, leading the program to its last College World Series appearance in 1999. Tom is currently in his seventh season as the associate head coach at North Carolina State
Josh's younger brother, Matt, is an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. In nine major league seasons, Matt has been named to six All-Star teams.
Josh's uncle, Dave Holliday, was an OSU assistant coach from 1981-88 and has since held a variety of roles in Major League Baseball, including his current spot as a professional scout for the Atlanta Braves. Dave's son, Heath, is a senior catcher for the Cowboys this season.
Home Sweet Home
Allie P. Reynolds Stadium has been home to Oklahoma State baseball since 1981, and in those 32 seasons the Cowboys have been nearly unbeatable on their home field.
OSU is 820-184 (.817) all time at Reynolds Stadium and has lost more than two consecutive games on their home turf only three times (six in a row in 2007; three straight in 2010 and 2012).
The Cowboys are 8-1 at home in 2013.
Grab A Snickers
After opening the season at New Mexico, the Cowboys won't be going anywhere for a while. On Feb. 19, OSU opened a 26-game homestand at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium as the Cowboys will not return to the road until an April 2 game at Oklahoma.
In April and May, OSU will play just seven games on its home field.
Comeback Cowboys & A Little Bit Of Irony
In the second game of the New Mexico series, OSU faced an eight-run deficit after seven innings. Trailing 14-6, the Cowboys rallied for four runs in the eighth and ninth to force extra innings and then won the game with a run in the 13th.
The eight-run deficit marked the largest OSU had overcome to win a game since April 6, 1997, when the Cowboys trailed Texas, 11-0, after 4 1/2 innings in Stillwater before rallying for, ironically, a 15-14 win. Josh Holliday was also a part of that game, playing catcher and third base for the Cowboys and going 1-for-4.
Coming from behind has continued to be a trend for the Cowboys -- six of OSU's wins this season have come in games in which it has trailed.
After leading OSU to a series win at No. 21 New Mexico on opening weekend, junior Tanner Krietemeier was named the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week. The switch-hitter was 6-for-11 with three clutch RBIs against the Lobos and was the only Cowboy to hit safely in all three games -- and he hasn't slowed down since.
Krietemeier's .413 batting average leads the Cowboys and ranks seventh in the Big 12, and he's also among the top 10 in the conference in hits (19), runs (12), RBIs (12), total bases (27), on-base percentage (.472) and slugging percentage (.587).
However, Krietemeier is not the only Cowboy swinging a hot bat.
Senior catcher Victor Romero leads OSU in homers (3) and RBIs (13) to go along with a .308 batting average. In OSU's last seven games, he is hitting .417 with two homers and nine RBIs.
Sophomore utility player Gage Green is hitting .353 on the strength of a recent eight-game hitting streak, the longest by a Cowboy this season.
Outfielder Zach Fish is hitting .326 with a pair of homers and 11 RBIs, and the sophomore sports a .587 slugging percentage. He has collected four RBIs in a game twice.
Senior Robbie Rea is hitting .333 and six of his seven RBIs have come with two outs. He's also reached base safely in nine consecutive games.
OSU is hitting .268 (42-for-157) with runners in scoring position ... Of the Cowboys' 76 RBIs this season, 27 have come with two outs ... OSU entered the week ranked seventh in the NCAA in home runs with 11. Mercer led the country with 16 ... The Cowboys also ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacrifice bunts (17th), slugging pct. (15th) and walks allowed per nine innings (20th).