After a somewhat successful seven-game road trip in Arizona, the Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball team finally returns to Stillwater with a 4-3 record. The Cowboys won three of four games in the Big 12/Pac-12 challenge last weekend and they play the Missouri State Bears (4-1) in the home opener on Wednesday.
Missouri State Overview
The Bears are coached by Keith Guttin who has been at the helm since 1983 and has led MSU to eight winning seasons. Going into the year, Guttin ranked 13th among active coaches in career victories and is the only coach the Bears have had at the Division I level.
MLB alums include: Scott Carroll (White Sox), Mike Kickham (Mariners), Brad Ziegler (Diamondbacks), and former MVP Ryan Howard (Phillies).
The bears went 26-31 in 2014 including two losses to OSU, one in Springfield, MO, and the other in Stillwater.
Players To Watch
Son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, junior Outfielder Tate Matheny was named as the team MVP in each of his first two seasons with the Bears. Matheny is 9-21 (.429) at the plate this season with one home run and six RBI's
Senior Eric Cheray is a very versatile defender with the ability to play behind the plate and in the infield. Cheray was also a 17th round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. So far this season, Cheray is the hottest hitter on the team, posting a .500 average in 18 at-bats in the first five games.
Sophomore left-hander Jordan Knutson is expected to start for the Bears on Wednesday. Knutson has thrown two innings so far this season, allowing one run and recording two strikeouts. He made one start last season, giving up three runs and only recording two outs against Arkansas State.
Keys To Victory
The Cowboys come into this game with three consecutive wins, so keeping the momentum going will be a key for OSU. Not only have the Cowboys won three straight, but they also scored 10+ runs in each of those games and 38 runs total last weekend.
It will be important for the Cowboys to get to Knutson early in the game; if they can set the tone for scoring early on, it could be a long game for MSU.
Coach Holliday has not yet announced a starter for this game, but I think it would be a good opportunity to give Tyler Buffett his first start of the season. Buffett has allowed only one run in 6 1/3 innings over two relief appearances early on this season. A good start will be necessary against a talented Missouri State lineup.
Revenge of the Fountain Part II
Never forget the minor inconvenience that Missouri State caused us last September by dying the fountain in front of the library red. Part I of the revenge was the 40-23 beat down OSU handed the Bears in football, Part II will happen tomorrow at 4 PM.