#19 Oklahoma State (32-16, 12-8) vs. Baylor (24-22, 9-12) . . . May 13-15 Stillwater, Okla. Allie P. Reynolds Stadium (4,000) Fri. - 6:30 p.m./Sat. - 6:36 p.m./Sun. - 1 p.m.
Oklahoma State Oklahoma State returns to Stillwater for its final regular season home games of 2011 when the Cowboys host Baylor this weekend at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The 19th-ranked Cowboys are 32-16 overall and in third place in the Big 12 Conference standings with a 12-8 league mark. OSU has won five Big 12 series this season, including all three on their home field. The Cowboys have lost just five times in 29 games at home this season. OSU ranks second in the Big 12 in batting average (.304) and fourth in ERA (3.30). Sophomore designated hitter Dane Phillips leads the offense with a .359 batting average, while senior Brad Propst has compiled a team-high seven wins on the mound. OSU head coach Frank Anderson is in his eighth season at the helm of the Cowboys and has led the club to 294 wins and five NCAA Tournament appearances in his career. During a four-year span from 2006-09, OSU was the only Big 12 Conference team to advance to an NCAA Regional championship round each season.
About Baylor Baylor is 24-22 on the season and tied for fifth in the Big 12 standings at 9-12. The Bears sport a .271 batting average and a 4.24 ERA. Expected to start on the mound for the Bears against OSU are: Fri.: Logan Verrett, Sr., RHP (5-4, 3.41) Sat.: Josh Turley, So., LHP (2-4, 4.13) Sun.: Brooks Pinckard, Jr., RHP (4-2, 3.86) OSU is 33-29 all time against Baylor, but the Cowboys have not won a series with BU since 2007 when they swept the Bears in Stillwater. The Bears swept last season's series in Waco.
Watch, Listen, Follow All OSU baseball games are carried live by Stillwater Radio and will air on KSPI 93.7 FM. Rex Holt, who is in his 29th season with Cowboy baseball (16th as the play-by-play voice), will call the action, with Matt "Chief" Davis providing color commentary. Radio broadcasts and live stats can also be accessed via www.okstate.com (links are available under Schedule). All OSU home games that are not televised are available to watch online via paid subscription at okstate.tv. Saturday's game vs. Baylor will be nationally televised live by FSN, with Greg Lucas and Jack Lazorko providing the talent.
Home Sweet Home Allie P. Reynolds Stadium has been home to Oklahoma State baseball since 1981, and in those 31 seasons the Cowboys have been nearly unbeatable on their home field. OSU is 787-173 (.820) all-time at Reynolds Stadium and has lost more than two consecutive games on their home turf only twice (six in a row in May 2007; three straight in 2010). The Cowboys are 24-5 at home in 2011.
300 Club OSU head coach Frank Anderson is on the verge of becoming the third coach in Cowboy history to reach 300 wins. Gary Ward (953 wins) and Toby Greene (318) are the only two previous OSU coaches to reach that mark. Anderson is in his eighth season at OSU and owns a career record of 294-174, which includes a 108-98 Big 12 mark. He ranks third on OSU's all-time coaching wins list.
Hit Man Sophomore Dane Phillips has been one of the Big 12's most consistent hitters in 2011, and he ranks among the top three in the league in four offensive categories -- batting average (.359), hits (71), triples (8) and total bases (111). His eight triples ranks second in the NCAA this season and is one shy of OSU's single-season record. Spending most of his time at DH but also seeing time at catcher and in the outfield, Phillips hit safely in OSU's first 13 games and has hits in 42 of the Cowboys' 48 games this season. He is second on the club with 19 multi-hit games, including three four-hit efforts. Phillips reached base safely in the first 30 games this season, extending a streak dating back to last season to 35 games before it was snapped against Missouri on April 9.
Aluminum Assault Over the last several seasons, OSU has established itself among the top hitting teams in the Big 12 Conference, and that trend is continuing this season. Along with a .304 batting average that ranks second in the league, OSU leads the conference with 110 doubles and holds down the second spot in hits (512), runs (295), home runs (36), triples (22), RBIs (269) and slugging percentage (.460). The 2010 club ranked second in the league with a .307 batting average and finished third in doubles (128) and sacrifice flies (31). Five of the Cowboy regulars in the starting lineup hit .316 or better. In 2009, the Cowboys ranked among the Big 12's best in batting average (third at .300), triples (second with 21), home runs (third with 81) and slugging percentage (second at .503). OSU led the Big 12 in three offensive categories in 2008 -- batting average (.326), slugging percentage (.531) and home runs (89). The Cowboys finished second in the league in runs, hits, triples and RBIs. In '06, OSU led the Big 12 in homers, triples and slugging percentage, and in 2007 the Cowboys led the Big 12 in six offensive categories and ranked second in two more.
Strong Armed OSU's pitching staff has allowed 159 earned runs in 433.0 innings, which translates to a 3.30 team ERA, and the Cowboys are second in the Big 12 with six shutouts. Ten different Cowboy hurlers have notched wins, with eight notching at least two victories. Want more? OSU's opponents are hitting just .255, and of the 14 Cowboys with at least three appearances, eight of them have an ERA of 3.31 or less. And while we're at it, go ahead and note that OSU's staff has issued just 130 walks, the second fewest in the Big 12. Among the leaders on the pitching staff this season are: Brad Propst - A converted infielder, Propst entered this season with three wins and three saves in 30 career appearances. The senior right-hander has started 12 games in 2011 and is 7-3 with a 2.51 ERA. Andrew Heaney - A year ago, this lefty became the first freshman to lead OSU in wins since 2001 as he was 5-4 with a save in 16 outings (10 starts). As a sophomore, he's been even better, with five wins, a 3.31 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. Mike Strong - A two-time MLB Draft pick, Strong is 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 12 games this season and has 54 Ks in 59.1 IP. Chris Marlowe - Marlowe leads the Cowboys with 19 appearances, and this JUCO transfer has been unhittable at times. He has a team-high 65 strikeouts in only 38.0 innings and earned his first-career win by striking out 10 in 4.2 innings of relief work vs. New Mexico, a performance that earned him Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week honors. Blake Barnes - A junior right-hander Barnes has three wins, all in relief, and a 3.27 ERA in 18 appearances. He has 21 Ks in 33.0 innings of work. Gabe Weidenaar - A junior who spends most of his time in center field, Weidenaar has also been a star on the mound as he's recorded two saves and has allowed just one earned run in 10 appearances. He has 15 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.
Flashing The Leather Over the last several seasons, OSU's defense has turned in some of the top fielding performances in program history. OSU has recorded a fielding percentage over .970 just six times in its history, and five of those have come in the last six seasons. The Cowboys made history in 2010 when they set a school record with a .978 fielding percentage, a mark that ranked fifth nationally. Last year's performance marked the third-straight year that OSU had tied or set the school record for fielding percentage after the Cowboys had a .974 fielding percentage in 2008 and a .976 fielding percentage in 2009. Both those fielding percentages led the Big 12. In 2011, the Cowboys have made 46 errors and sport a .975 fielding percentage.
Senior Sensation Brad Propst is having a memorable final season in an OSU uniform. The senior right-hander has established himself as the ace of the Cowboys' staff with a 7-3 record and a 2.51 ERA in 12 starts. Propst has pitched at least six innings in eight of his 11 starts, and he ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 76.0 innings pitched. On March 28, Propst was named Big 12 Pitcher of Week after tossing a complete game against No. 4 Texas in which he allowed just one run on seven hits and struck out six. Propst is 5-1 with three complete games and a 2.10 ERA in his seven Big 12 starts, and he has recorded 28 strikeouts and just seven walks.
Season Superlatives OSU has emerged as one of the nation's top teams in 2011, and the Cowboys continue to add to their resumé. The Cowboys have five wins against Top 10 teams this season, including two apiece against No. 4 Texas and No. 8 Oklahoma. OSU's 32 wins are the fourth most in the Big 12 this season, and the Cowboys have already surpassed last season's win total. With 12 wins in Big 12 play, the Pokes have already topped their league win totals in each of the past two seasons. After dropping their first Big 12 series of the year at Kansas, OSU won four-straight league series, the first time that had happened since the 2008 Cowboys won six consecutive series against conference foes.
It's Been Awhile In March, OSU became the first team to win a Big 12 series against Texas since 2009, snapping the Longhorns' streak of 11-straight conference series wins. The Cowboys followed that performance by winning a series against Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since 1997. Based in large part on those performances, OSU entered the national rankings on April 4 for the first time since the end of 2009 season, debuting at No. 23 in the Baseball America rankings. This week, the Cowboys are ranked as high as 19th by Baseball America.
Short Hops The Cowboys are hitting .309 (160-for-517) with runners in scoring position ... OSU has won six games in its final at bat this season ... Nine different position players have made their OSU debuts this season while 10 different pitchers have toed the rubber for the first time as Cowboys ... OSU has turned 62 double plays this season, the most in the Big 12 ... Chris Marlowe is averaging 15.39 strikeouts per nine innings ... OSU entered the week ranked 24th in the official NCAA RPI. Baylor was 40th.