As the regular season winds down, the Cowboys welcome the Baylor Bears to Stillwater for the final home series of the 2017 season. After reaching the College World Series final four last season, I think Cowboy fans will agree with me that this season has been a bit of a disappointment. Hope is not lost though, as there is still a chance the Cowboys can make the postseason.
Without further ado, here are the quick hits for this weekend’s series.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (24-21, 6-11 Big 12) vs. Baylor Bears (29-17, 8-10 Big 12)
Where: Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, Stillwater, OK
When: Friday 6:30 p.m. | Saturday 3 p.m. | Sunday 1 p.m.
Watch: FOX College Sports / FOX Sports Go (provider login required)
The Bears are led at the plate by Aaron Dodson, who has a slash line of .317/.379/.531. The senior infielder can hit for power, as he is tied for the team lead in home runs with seven. Dodson has 30 RBIs on the season, which is best on the team, and has scored 25 runs, which puts him in fourth place for the Bears. However, he does strike out quite often, with 43 Ks on the season to only 13 walks. To put it another way, Dodson strikes out nearly 30 percent of his at-bats. If the Cowboys can get ahead in the count with this guy and make him defensive, they should be able to induce a few strikeouts.
Senior Nick Lewis is scheduled to pitch in Friday’s matchup. The right-handed pitcher has 5-4 record in 11 starts on the season and owns a 4.48 ERA. He has allowed 36 runs (30 earned) to cross the plate, and has struck out 52 batters in his 60.1 innings pitched. He does lead the team in walks, allowing 34 free passes.
Saturday, the Bears will send another righty to the mound. Junior Montana Parsons has a 4-2 record in 11 starts this season, holding opponents to a .249 batting average and only 2.71 runs per game. In 66.1 innings, Parsons has allowed 24 runs (20 earned) and 62 hits. His 55 strikeouts lead the team, and he only has given up 27 walks. He can be a bit wild at time, hitting four batters and throwing two wild pitches.
Finally, Cody Bradford will take the mound in Sunday’s contest. Bradford is statistically the worst of the three starters, so the Cowboys will look to jump on him early and build up a lead. Bradford has started 12 games this season and owns a 5-4 record with a 4.57 ERA. Hitters are hitting .285 off of the freshman southpaw and have driven in 33 runs, all of which are earned. His walk-to-strikeout ratio isn’t terrible, and is currently sitting at 17:38.
ANYWAY, Bradford has given up 11 home runs on the season, which is seven more than any other pitcher on the roster. The Cowboys have hit 41 home runs as a team, so this could work out in their favor.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Taking the mound for the Cowboys on Friday is Tyler Buffett. The senior right-handed pitcher is 5-4 in 12 starts with a 4.74 ERA. In 74.0 innings, Buffett has given up 45 runs - 39 of which are earned - and given up 79 hits. He has an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 69:17. (Yes, I switched it earlier because I wanted to make the Fetty Wap reference. Sue me.) Buffett also has control issues at times, hitting nine batters and throwing nine wild pitches.
Joe Lienhard will get the call on Saturday. Lienhard is 2-1 on the season with a 2.70 ERA. On the season, Lienhard (who primarily comes out of the pen in relief) has 46.0 innings pitched and has allowed 26 runs to cross the plate on 47 hits. He has struck out 45 batters and walked 26 on the season. The Cowboys will likely only use Lienhard for a couple innings, although he did throw seven complete innings against Texas in a losing effort April 28.
Finally, Blake Battenfield will take the bump Sunday, rounding out the trio of Cowboy righties. Battenfield has a 2-4 record on the season in eight starts and a 4.91 ERA. 30 runs have crossed the plate while Battenfield was pitching, but only 28 were earned. He does have a K:BB ratio of 44:21, but has allowed 54 hits in the 51.1 innings he has under his belt. If I had to guess, Sunday’s matchup will be high-powered offense and making the defense earn their bread.