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CWS Preview: Oklahoma State (2-0) vs. Arizona (2-1)

Oklahoma State takes on Arizona at 2 PM today with a trip to the CWS Championship on the line.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

This is really happening. Oklahoma State is one win away from an apperance in the College World Series Finals. But it won't be easy.

Standing in the Cowboys way is a prestigious Arizona team that has revenge on the mind. And ace Nathan Bannister, who is itching for a crack at the Pokes.

Bannister is one of the nation's best and leads the country with 139 2/3 innings pitched. Bannister is also on five days rest, so every run will count in this one.

Earlier this week, The Cowboys No. 2 pitcher was better than Arizona's No. 2 pitcher. Tyler Buffett was just a bit more sensational than Bobby Dalbec, in a 1-0 Cowboys win. If Bannister and company are able to deliver the Pokes their first loss of the postseason, it would set up a winner-take-all game between Thomas Hatch and Dalbec.

As nerve wrecking and stomach quenching as these pitching duals will be, it will surely make for some great baseball.

But let's not give Arizona a Friday win just yet.

The Wildcats will have to go through the third part of the three-headed monster the Cowboys have in their rotation. After much speculation, freshman Jensen Elliot will get the start in the biggest game of his life. Perhaps the most frightning statistic; Elliot hasn't pitched in 19 days, thanks to Hatch and Buffett carrying the workload.

Let's not forget that Elliot was the only pitcher to pick up a win in the West Virginia series, and picked up wins at Baylor and Texas on the road and TCU at home. TCU is in the same position as Oklahoma State, at 2-0 in the CWS.

However, 19 days is a scary thought. But you have to trust Elliot at some point, and this is definetly the best time to do so. Elliot will most likely not lose this game. If the Cowboys do lose Friday's matchup, it will probably be the fault of the offense.

A pair of 1-0 wins are great, but the Cowboys can't expect shut down pitching night after night. Give the freshman some insurance runs and let him find his grove.

Oklahoma State and Arizona will face off at 2 p.m. on ESPN2. With a win, the Cowboys will await the winner of the TCU and Costal Carolina series. With a loss, Hatch and Dalbec will go at it on Saturday with a time TBA.