This feature is going to be where we recap the past weeks events, and preview the next week of Oklahoma State Baseball. It should become more polished over time, and maybe even turn into a readable structure, but for now I guess it will mostly be a wall of text, with some short descriptions of all the happenings with Cowboys baseball.
Click the Jump for a breakdown of the past week, and a preview of the future week in Cowboy Baseball.
What Did the Cowboys Do This Past Week?
Swept Bryant University in a three game series at Allie P. over the weekend (2/18, 2./19, 2/20). Most notable about this sweep was that a Cowboy starting pitcher didn't allow a single run, and the pitching staff as a whole only allowed one run (way to ruin the perfection Blake Barnes... kidding Blake, relax). The Pokes actually held the Bulldogs scoreless through the first 25.1 innings of the series before Barnes allowed a solo homer in the top of the eighth of the third game. The Cowboys ended up taking the three games by scores of 8-0, 13-0, and 8-1.
And before you go thinking that Bryant is some scrub team, they did win the Northeast Conference by 5 games last season, and only missed out on the NCAA Tournament because they had just transferred into the conference and by rule were ineligible for postseason play.
After that series came a one game matchup with Dallas Baptist on 2/22 that seemed like it should have been easy enough. Even though they had swept their first series at home versus Indiana State, DBU was coming off of a 28-27 performance last season and is typically atrocious on the road (7-17 last year). Well, any thought about this being an easy one went out the window when DBU leadoff hitter Austin Elkins drilled the first pitch of the game over the left field fence. The Cowboys could only manage 7 hits and ended up falling to the Patriots 7-3. The Cowboys went through 7 pitchers in this game, with the loss being hung on Josh Neilson who only pitched a third of an inning, but gave up 3 runs.
The brightest spot for the Cowboys at the plate this past week have been CF Gabe Weidenaar and DH/C Dane Phillips. Weidenaar is a JuCo transfer who is 8-14 (.571 AVG, .643 SLG%, 1.172 OPS) with a walk and 2 stolen bases on 2 attempts, and has been a model of consistency going 2-4, 3-4, 2-2, and 1-4 in the Cowboys 4 games, and even pitched a little in the DBU loss. Phillips is a sophomore who is coming off a nice freshman season. Thus far this year he is 9-16 at the plate (.563 AVG, .938 SLG, 1.526 OPS) with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 5 RBI and a stolen base. Like Weidenaar, Philips has also been productive in every game going 2-4, 4-5, 1-3, and 2-4.
What is Coming Up This Week?
A three game series starts today at 4:00 with Cal Poly, then a mid week home game versus Missouri State on 3/1, then the Dairy Queen Classic in Tucson, AZ kicks off on Friday with the Pokes participating in three games of the tournament, 3/4 vs Washington State, 3/5 vs South Alabama, and 3.6 vs Minnesota. A brief word about each:
Cal Poly is coming off of a rough 23-32 season and is projected to have more of the same this year as Baseball Today has them projected to finish in 8th place in the Big West conference. Cal Poly is 0-3 on the season with all the losses coming to good programs (North Carolina, Missouri, USC).
Missouri State is coming off of a 20-31 season and return 5 of their 6 best hitters from last seasons team which boasted the worst batting average (.266) of the entire Missouri Valley Conference. Unless a year in the cages made these guys much better hitters, we can expect similar results as the Bryant series. The Bears are 1-3 on the season.
Washington State is coming off a very solid 2010 where they went 37-22, went to the regional finals, and finished with an RPI of 25. They are 2-1 this season, and are considered to be in contention for the PAC-10 crown and a World Series birth.
South Alabama was 32-27 last season and this season is the farewell tour of long time coach and 1,022 game winner Steve Kittrell. Unfortunately for him, the Jags aren't expected to take any huge leaps this season as they lost their two best pitchers and best hitter from last season.
Minnesota is very good. They were only 32-30 last season but closed strong winning the Big 10 tournament and almost made it to Omaha as they lost in the regional finals to Cal-State Fullerton. They are expected to win the Big 10 this season as they return their entire pitching staff, and all but 2 of their starting lineup.