Coming into the weekend the Oklahoma State Cowboy baaseball team was a meager 1-2 and had the tall task of playing four Pac-12 teams away from home in Arizona. Coach Holliday's team was definitely up to the task, winning three of four games this weekend to push their record to 4-3 on the season.
Thursday: Oregon State 5, Oklahoma State 3
WP: Moore (1-0) LP: Nurdin (0-1) S: Hickey
Thursday night's contest looked similar to the previous weekend's losses to Arizona State. The Pokes got a mediocre pitching performance from Tyler Nurdin and had nine hits, but they could scratch across three runs.
Nurdin's line: 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 K, 1 BB on 81 pitches
Nurdin pushed his ERA to 5.27 after struggling in his first two starts of the 2015 season. Control was his issue last season, walking 39 batters in 52 innings, but it hasn't been a huge concern this year for Nurdin (2 BB in 7 2/3 IP). The bigger issue has been allowing hits, 15 so far, which is about 2 per inning.
Gage Green, Tim Arakawa and Jon Littell each had RBI's in the game and Corey Hassel had two hits, but the Cowboys offense was not particularly hot on Thursday.
Oregon State starter Andrew Moore worked into the 7th allowing only three runs and the Beavers bullpen shut it down after that to clinch the victory.
OSU MVP: The bullpen trio of Tyler Buffett, Alex Hackerott and Trey Cobb went 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Nurdin.
Friday: Oklahoma State 11, Washington State 1
WP: Perrin (1-1) LP: McDowell (1-1) S: Costello
Jon Perrin took it upon himself to change the Cowboys fortunes on Friday, throwing 6 no-hit innings before being lifted in favor of Conor Costello. I have no issue with Holliday taking Perrin out of the game after 84 pitches. Not only is it too early to be stretching out starting pitchers, but also Perrin was on a pitch count in his previous start as a precaution after having surgery in the offseason.
Perrin's line: 6 IP, 0 H, 6 K, 2 BB on 84 pitches.
The offense was just as good as good as Perrin was on Friday. Gage Green scored after walking in the 1st inning to start things off, followed by RBI singles from Arakawa and Littell to give the Cowboys a 3-0 lead and chasing the WSU starter before he could finish the opening frame.
Littell scored on a passed ball and Costello added an RBI double pushing the lead to 5-0 through four innings.
The Cowboys notched five insurance runs in the 8th inning, Littell drove in two runs on a single and then Bryan Case hit a two-run home run, his first of the season.
Costello allowed one run in relief, earning a rare three-inning save.
OSU MVP: Split-decision here, Perrin's six no-hit innings and Littell's three hits and three RBI's.
Saturday: Oklahoma State 10, Utah 2
WP: Freeman (1-0) LP: Rose (0-1)
The Cowboys kept their offensive going in Saturday's game, scoring 10 runs on 13 hits. Michael Freeman allowed one run to the Utes in the 2nd inning and that was all they would get off the Cowboys starter. I was very impressed with how Freeman bounced back after a sub-par start against ASU last weekend.
Freeman's line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB on 76 pitches.
Dustin Williams started the scoring for OSU with a solo home run in the 3rd inning, followed by a Garrett McCain RBI that gave the Cowboys a lead that they would not surrender. Jacob Chappell drove in two runs with a single to center field, stretching the lead to 4-1.
The Cowboys added six more runs in the 6th and 7th innings; highlights include RBI singles from Ryan Sluder, Gage Green and Tim Arakawa.
The Cowboys had a very balanced offensive attack in this game, with every starter except for McCain recording a hit.
Blake Battenfield threw three scoreless innings in relief of Freeman and Garrett Williams allowed one run in the 9th before shutting down the OSU win.
OSU MVP: Dustin Williams went 3-5 with a solo HR
Sunday: OSU 12, Washington 2
WP: Cobb LP: Bremer
Sunday's win over the Huskies not only marked the Cowboys third straight win, but it also marked the third straight 10+ run performance from the offense. This time it was 12 runs on 13 hits, proof that this offensive potency may not be a fluke.
Gage Green started off his incredible day with a leadoff home run off of UW starter Noah Bremer. The Huskies scored in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1, before Garrett McCain drove in two runs after a pair of UW errors in the 2nd making it 3-1.
Dustin Williams had an RBI single, followed by Jon Littell scoring on a wild pitch that stretched the lead to 5-1 in the 3rd inning. The 4th inning started just like the 1st, with a solo home run from Green, who went 3-5 with 2 RBI's on the day.
Freshman RHP Carson LaRue made his first start for the Cowboys on Sunday, logging three innings of one-run before handing it over to Trey Cobb who also logged three innings of one-run ball.
Remey Reed went two scoreless innings before Koda Glover shut it down in the 9th with two strikeouts.
The Cowboys offense managed to plate a run in each of the first six innings before being held to nothing in 7th. McCain, Green, Arakawa and Williams all had multiple hits in another OSU offensive explosion.
OSU MVP: How can I not give it to Gage Green? Two home runs in one game, when he had only three all of last season.
It's hard to find anything to complain about when the team finishes with a +26 run differential over a four-game series. The offense was absolutely incredible; scoring 38 runs against four capable Pac-12 opponents is something that gets me really excited about the potential of this team.
Perrin showed me there is nothing to worry about when it comes to his surgically-repaired arm, nothing at all. OSU has not had a no-hitter thrown since 1985 when Joe Giordanella threw one against Oklahoma, but Perrin has potential to end that draught. If it does happen, I pray that it's at Allie P and not on the road.
In four games, OSU relievers logged 17 2/3 innings and only allowed a measly three runs, that's a 1.53 ERA for the weekend. This bullpen could be just as good as last season's, if not better. Remey Reed has been the best so far, throwing six scoreless frames in his first three appearances on the season.
Picking out individual contributors is difficult to do on this balanced Cowboys offense, but it's hard to not notice Tim Arakawa and Kevin Bradley's batting averages that are north of .390. I know it's too early to get excited on numbers like that, but these two are off to unbelievable starts.
Basically everything I wanted this team do this weekend they did. The offense was top-notch, the starting pitching was much-improved and the bullpen remained solid.
OSU SERIES MVP: The whole offense, 38 runs total
The Cowboys host Missouri State in the home-opener at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on Wednesday at 4 PM.